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Myth exploded
Laparoscopic resection of a large (11 cm) adrenal phaeochromocytoma


Pheochromocytoma is a rare cause of hypertension. Usually the tumour arises in the adrenal and the only cure is surgical extirpation. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is the gold standard. Traditionally, laparoscopic removal of adrenal tumour of more than 5–6 cm in size is contraindicated. The authors removed a 11×8 cm phaeochromocytoma by laparoscopic approach without any complications. A 52-year-old male presented with complaints of throbbing headache with palpitations. On evaluation, he was found to be severely hypertensive and his blood sugar levels were moderately elevated. Radiological investigations revealed a 11×8 cm left supra renal mass. A provisional diagnosis of left pheochromocytoma was made which was strengthened by the fact that 24 hourly urine sample revealed elevated vanillylmandelic acid levels. The authors decided to surgically extirpate the adrenal mass. This was successfully accomplished by a laparoscopic transperitoneal approach. No complications were encountered. Histopathology showed pheochromocytoma of left adrenal gland without capsular involvement.

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