Because the adrenal glands are next to the kidney in the ‘back’ of the abdomen (or to give it the technical name, ‘retroperitoneum’), this type of operation is the most direct approach to the adrenal gland. 3 small incisions on the back are used in the operation.
This operation gives the least post-operative pain and quickest recovery to normal activities of any type of adrenal surgery, even compared to laparoscopic adrenalectomy. Many people are discharged home the day following surgery after undergoing this operation. This type of operation is also very good for people who have had previous surgery on their abdomen (belly) for whom a laparoscopic approach is usually very difficult because of internal scarring.
Mr Hardy is one of only a very small number of surgeons in the UK performing this operation.
The picture below shows typical scars following this procedure. This picture was taken 6 weeks following surgery. The scars will fade over time to become barely visible.
Adrenal masses up to around 5cm in size are suitable for removal by this type of operation. Masses larger than this are usually removed by laparosopic adrenalectomy, which is covered in the following section.