Background: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy can be performed using a transabdominal or posterior retroperitoneal approach. Choosing the optimal approach can be challenging.
Methods: Using data from the Collaborative Endocrine Surgery Quality Improvement Program (2014-2018), baseline patient characteristics and outcomes were compared with bivariate methods; univariate and multivariate analyses were used to estimate the association between operative approach and complication risk.
Results: Among 833 patients, 35.3% underwent posterior retroperitoneal. Median age was 54 years. Patients undergoing posterior retroperitoneal had lesser rates of body mass index >40 (9.2% vs 17.4%, P = .001), smaller nodules (median 2.4 vs 3.2 cm, P < .001), and more commonly right-sided nodules (46.6% vs 36.9%, P = .02). Posterior retroperitoneal was associated with a lesser rate of conversion to an open procedure (0.7% vs 4.1%, P = .004), less complications (3.1% vs 8.7%, P = .002), and shorter hospital stay (≤48 h: 92.2% vs 76.6%, P < .001), but a greater rate of capsular disruption (12.6% vs 7.6%, P = .02). For posterior retroperitoneal cases with capsular disruption, median nodule size was 2.2 cm, and 16.2% were metastatic tumors. After multivariate adjustment, posterior retroperitoneal was 2.2 times as likely to result in capsular disruption as transabdominal (95% confidence interval, 1.04-4.79, P = .04).
Conclusion: This study revealed a greater rate for capsular disruption during posterior retroperitoneal even for small tumors. Our findings from the Collaborative Endocrine Surgery Quality Improvement Program (2014-2018) suggests that posterior retroperitoneal should be used selectively, especially when a malignancy is suspected.
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