Safety and feasibility of laparoscopic resection for large (≥6 cm) pheochromocytomas without suspected malignancy

Academic Article


  • Objective: To determine whether laparoscopic adrenalectomy in patients without radiologic evidence of cancer compromises the perioperative and long-term outcomes in patients with large (≥6 cm) pheochromocytomas.Methods: We analyzed a prospective adrenal database of consecutive patients who underwent adrenalectomy at our institution between September 2000 and September 2010. Patients with diagnosed pheochromocytoma who underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy were included. Patients with tumors smaller than 6 cm were compared with those presenting with tumors 6 cm or larger.Results: One hundred fifty-seven patients underwent adrenalectomy, and there were 32 catecholamine-secreting tumors. Of the 33, 7 were excluded from the study because of open surgery. Thus, 25 patients presented with 26 pheochromocytomas and underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy. Thirteen of the 25 patients (52%) were women. Mean age (± standard error of the mean) was 53 ± 3 years. Mean tumor size was 5.2 ± 0.5 cm, and 11 pheochromocytomas (42%) were 6 cm or larger. Tumor size was significantly different between the large pheochromocytoma and the small pheochromocytoma groups (7.6 ± 0.4 vs 3.6 ± 0.4 cm, P<.001), but there was no significant difference in intraoperative complications, estimated blood loss, cancer diagnosis, or recurrence. The length of stay was comparable between the 2 cohorts, and there were no incidents of capsular invasion or adverse cardiovascular events.Conclusion: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy of pheochromocytomas larger than 6 cm is feasible and safe with comparable results to those achieved with laparoscopic adrenalectomy in patients with smaller pheochromocytomas. Copyright © 2012 AACE.
  • Published In

  • Endocrine Practice  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Carter YM; Mazeh H; Sippel RS; Chen H
  • Start Page

  • 720
  • End Page

  • 726
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 5