Laparoscopic right adrenalectomy for a large ganglioneuroma in a 12-year-old

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques








Introduction: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is well established as the standard technique for all indications of adrenalectomy except adrenal carcinoma; however, some also consider large adrenal masses a relative contraindication. We present a video of a laparoscopic excision of a large ganglioneuroma and right adrenalectomy in a 12-year-old female. Methods: Our patient was noted to have a right suprarenal mass on a computed tomography scan following complaints of back and abdominal pain. Upon surgical consultation, she underwent a magnetic resonance imaging, which showed a 7.9 × 4.4 × 5.6 cm heterogeneously enhancing suprarenal lesion that was either arising from or compressing the right adrenal gland. The patient's preoperative work-up included normal urinary metanephrines, alpha-fetoprotein, and beta-HCG. After discussion with the patient and family, the decision was made to proceed with laparoscopic excision of the mass. Results: The patient underwent successful laparoscopic excision of the suprarenal mass and right adrenalectomy and was discharged from the hospital on postoperative day 2. During the procedure, retraction was achieved by using a combination of 5-mm grasping instruments, Endokittner® dissectors (Ethicon Endosurgery Cincinnati, OH), and a suction irrigator to provide traction and counter traction. A flexible 5-mm liver retractor (Mediflex®; Velmed, Inc., Wexford, PA) was placed directly through the abdominal wall without a trocar in order to elevate the liver from the area of the right adrenal and retroperitoneum. This enabled us to 'rotate' the lesion out from behind the vena cava and from along the vertebral bodies. The pathology revealed an 8.5 × 7.0 × 3.0 cm ganglioneuroma, with primarily neural and Schwann cell-type tissue with interspersed large, prominent ganglion cells, and a normal adrenal gland. Conclusions: As demonstrated by our video, large adrenal masses in the pediatric population can be successfully excised laparoscopically with appropriate surgeon comfort and experience. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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