Surgical approach to patients with hypercortisolism

Gland Surg. 2020 Feb;9(1):59-68. doi: 10.21037/gs.2019.12.13.


According to the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guidelines, the goal of treating overt Cushing's syndrome is to control cortisol levels or more importantly its actions at its receptor in order to eliminate the end organ effects and treat comorbidities associated with hypercortisolism. This chapter will review the surgical management of hypercortisolism. It will be subdivided into two main sections: the management of: (I) ACTH-dependent; and (II) ACTH-independent (adrenal) hypercortisolism. The perioperative factors that surgeons should consider after the diagnosis has been made will also be discussed. Lastly, the utilization of robotic surgery for adrenalectomy and the perceived benefits and potential pitfalls of this approach when treating patients with hypercortisolism will be reviewed.

Keywords: Cushing’s disease (CD); Cushing’s syndrome; Hypercortisolism; adrenal; adrenalectomy.

Publication types

  • Review