Robotic Adrenalectomy is a type of robotic surgery which involves complete removal of the adrenal gland. The cause that creates the need for the gland removal may be a tumor or abnormal functioning by the gland. Compared to traditional open surgery, this minimally invasive surgery has shown the potential to decrease blood loss, total operative time, and length of postoperative hospital stay.
Robotic Adrenalectomy is most often performed to treat Adrenal Cortex Cancer. It is a rare disease that is caused by the growth of cancer cells in the outer layer of the adrenal glands called the adrenal cortex. The adrenal glands sit on the top of the kidneys and are an important part of the endocrine system. It's outer part, the adrenal cortex produces and regulates certain major vital hormones of the body such as cortisol, aldosterone, etc. When hit by cancer, it shows fluctuations in the production of these hormones and adversely affects the patient’s hair growth, salt level, blood pressure, etc. As they are two adrenal glands, one can be removed through Robotic Adrenalectomy and cancer can be controlled.
Robotic Adrenalectomy can also be performed to treat Functional Adrenal Tumors. When an adrenal gland tumour produces excessive hormones, it is called Functional Adrenal Tumor. The excessive production of Aldosterone causes Conn's syndrome, Cortisol causes Cushing's syndrome, Androgen causes abnormal hair growth, acne, irregular menstrual periods in women, etc. It can be managed by removing the adrenal gland that has the tumor, using Robotic Adrenalectomy.
Generally, Robotic Adrenalectomy is performed by anaesthetizing the patient in order to make him unconscious and unable to feel any pain. After this, a very small 3D camera which gives the surgeon a magnified 360 ° view of the operative field and miniaturised surgical instruments to carry out the operation are inserted inside the patient’s body through tiny incisions. Then the adrenal gland is identified and freed from the surrounding tissues. Special care is taken to ensure the safety of the close proximity organs like pancreas, liver and spleen. Next, the blood vessels to the gland are sealed. Finally, the adrenal gland which is dissected is taken out of the body through one of the incisions. In certain scenarios, along with the adrenal gland, the regional lymph nodes will also be removed, if the cancer cells happen to appear in them.
Though it is called Robotic Adrenalectomy, the surgery is performed entirely by the surgeon and not the robot. The robot merely does the job of translating the surgeon’s hand movements into precise motions inside the patient’s body.
Robotic Adrenalectomy has become a gold standard procedure in recent days as it benefits both the patients and the surgeons in ample ways. For the patient, it
Reduces the pain and discomfort
Decreases the risk of infection and blood loss
Makes the surgery more precise
Reduces the patients time in the hospital drastically
Lowers scarring and trauma
Enables quick recovery
Brings good clinical outcomes
For the surgeon, it enhances the visual field, offers superior dexterity and provides access to hard-to-reach areas.
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