What is the posterior approach to adrenal surgery?

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Open surgery on the adrenal gland can also be performed from a posterior approach. In this technique the patient is positioned prone (face down) on the operating room table. A curved incision is made on the side of the gland to be removed, muscles are moved out of the way with retractors and a part of the lowest (12th) rib may be removed. This technique does have some limitations. For example, it does not allow as wide or complete a view as the anterior approach, making it less than ideal for larger tumors. In addition, it is harder to remove surrounding organs that the tumor may have grown into in cases of cancer. As a result, this approach is generally not used for tumors bigger than 6cm and those suspected to be malignant (cancerous) in which the removal of additional organs may be required.

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.