Adrenal Tumors

Adrenal tumors (Adrenocortical carcinoma, Pheochromocytoma, functional and nonfunctional adrenal adenomas):

Kidney and Adrenal
Kidney and Adrenal

Lesions of the adrenal gland include benign adenoma, pheochromocytoma, and adrenocortical carcinoma. Benign adenoma, the most common lesion seen in the adrenal gland, can be functional or non-functional. Functional adrenal adenoma refers to an area in the adrenal gland that secretes an adrenal hormone at abnormally high levels. In the case of over-secretion of aldosterone, Conn’s syndrome develops. Cushing’s syndrome is the result of excess cortisol production from a functional adrenal adenoma. Many adrenal adenomas require no treatment. However, functional adenomas and those that demonstrate growth or are greater than 3cm in size may require surgical removal.

Pheochromocytoma is a relatively rare tumor of the adrenal gland that is the cause of a form of correctable hypertension due to the secretion of hormones called metanephrines. Some of these lesions are malignant; however, all require surgical removal.

Adrenocortical carcinoma is a cancer of the adrenal cortex. These tumors are rare and can secrete a number of different hormones. These tumors likewise must be surgically removed. Surgery for most adrenal tumors can often be performed through a robotic approach. See Robotic Adrenalectomy for more information.