Transperitoneal Laparoscopic Right Adrenalectomy for Cortical Adenoma
Sonia Cohen, MD, PhD; Richard Hodin, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Primary hyperaldosteronism, or Conn’s syndrome, is a disease in which one or both adrenal glands produce excess amounts of aldosterone, leading to hypertension and hypokalemia. High blood pressure may cause headaches or blurred vision. Low potassium may cause fatigue, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, numbness, or temporary paralysis.
Primary hyperaldosteronism is diagnosed by measuring serum levels of aldosterone, renin, and potassium. Patients classically have high aldosterone levels, suppressed renin levels, and low potassium levels. Once the diagnosis is established, the localization of the source is performed using imaging studies. Adrenal vein sampling is also performed to determine more precisely and directly the side that is producing excess aldosterone.
Primary hyperaldosteronism caused by an adrenal gland tumor is treated with adrenalectomy. This is the case of a 58-year-old female with hypokalemia and long-standing hypertension refractory to medical treatment. Her blood tests showed high aldosterone levels and low renin levels, confirming the diagnosis of hyperaldosteronism. On CT scan, an adrenal nodule was noted on both sides. Adrenal vein sampling identified the right adrenal nodule as the cause. Laparoscopic access was gained, the adrenal gland was dissected and exposed, the adrenal vein ligated, and the adrenal gland was removed.