Open versus laparoscopic simultaneous bilateral adrenalectomy

Urology. 2006 Apr;67(4):693-6. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2005.10.037. Epub 2006 Apr 11.


Objectives: To compare our experience with synchronous bilateral adrenalectomy using laparoscopic and open techniques. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy has become the reference standard for management of benign unilateral adrenal pathologic findings.

Methods: This was a nonrandomized retrospective chart review of 12 known patients who underwent simultaneous bilateral adrenalectomy, comparing five laparoscopic and seven open procedures. One urologic surgeon performed all laparoscopic cases, and one general surgeon performed all open procedures.

Results: All patients had Cushing's disease or syndrome. The average patient age was 47.4 years (range 24 to 71) and 42.4 years (range 19 to 70), with an average body mass index of 38.2 kg/m2 and 36.0 kg/m2 for the laparoscopic and open groups, respectively. The operating time was on average 60 minutes longer for the laparoscopic group. No open conversions were necessary. The median blood loss (100 versus 500 mL, P < 0.01) and hematocrit drop (8.5% versus 12.6%, P = 0.05) were lower for the laparoscopic group. The transfusion rates and hospital stay trended lower in the laparoscopic group (20% versus 57% and 3 versus 8.5 days, respectively). Specimen weights for both the right and left glands trended larger for the laparoscopic group. The complication rates were similar between groups at 60% for the laparoscopic versus 71% for the open groups.

Conclusions: Simultaneous laparoscopic bilateral adrenalectomy is safe and effective. Compared with the open approach, it resulted in decreased blood loss, lower transfusion rate, and a trend toward a shorter hospital stay, although the operating time was longer. The laparoscopic approach should be the treatment of choice for bilateral adrenalectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenalectomy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Cushing Syndrome / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary ACTH Hypersecretion / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors