Depending on the kind of adrenalectomy surgery performed, a patient’s recovery time will vary.
For patients who’ve undergone laparoscopic surgery, they will be able to move around and eat /drink the same day as the surgery. For patient’s who’ve undergone open surgery, they will need to wait a day or two before they can eat or drink.
No matter the kind of surgery performed, post-surgery patient will experience some amount of pain. Again, for those who’ve had laparoscopic surgery, the pain will be mild. However, those who’ve had open surgery, the pain will be more, and they may require stronger doses of pain medications.
On a whole it takes about 2-6 weeks to completely recover from this surgery.
Laparoscopic Surgery Patients – they will be discharged from the hospital the day after the surgery, if there are no complications. They need about 2-4 weeks to recover and return to their normal routine. Those who have Cushing’s syndrome will be discharged after 2-5 days, since they will need to begin their steroid taper.
Open Surgery Patients – they will be discharged after 3-5 days post-surgery. They will need some time before they can get back to their daily routine with ease. Recovery usually take 4-6 weeks.
Complications of Adrenalectomy:
The risks and complications of adrenalectomy include
• Allergy to anaesthesia
• Delayed healing of the wound
• Injury of liver or spleen, a splenectomy may be necessary in certain cases
• Paralytic ileus
• Injury to the intestines, pancreas or kidneys
• Injury to subcostal nerve
• Addisonian crisis or adrenal insufficiency. This occurs due to a reduction of steroids in the blood. This can be a medical emergency if left untreated. Administration of steroids can control the situation.
Adrenalectomy side effects
The most important side effect of adrenalectomy is a change in levels of hormones produced by the adrenals. Hormonal supplements may be needed to correct this problem.
Do's and Don’ts during and after surgery
• Do not lift heavy weights
• Avoid strenuous exercises
• Take short walks to keep the circulation going
• Take precautions to prevent blood clot in the lungs
• Keep the body well hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water
• Monitor blood pressure and sugar levels regularly
When to notify your doctor:
Patients should call their doctors or the hospitals asap, if they experience any of these symptoms/issues:
• High and prolonged fever
• Increased pain at the incision site
• Increased swelling at the site of incision
• Nausea or vomiting
• Unable to eat/drink/difficulty in swallowing
• Difficulty with urine and bowel movements