Adrenal Robotic Surgery is a Game Changer


HOUSTON, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) – A groundbreaking single-incision adrenal robotic surgery is brand new and it’s proving to be much faster, resulting in shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery. Houston Methodist is the first in the country to offer it.

Adrenal problems, from cancer or hormone overproduction, are often discovered while treating something else.

Helmi Khadra, MD, FACS, Endocrine & Oncology Surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital says, “They go into the ER, and they’re having abdominal pain, or they even, you know, fell and broke a bone, and just by CT scan, they find that they have an adrenal mass.”

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Houston Methodist is the first to perform a single port robotic retro periteneoscopic adrenalectomy. it requires only one incision and the DaVinci robot.

“The advantage of this robot is making only one incision, and all of your instruments go in through that one little incision, and using the, you know, high-definition camera of the robot,” Dr. Khadra explains.

This single entry point limits infections, shortens hospital stays to one day, and patients experience less pain.

Dr. Khadra further explains, “They’re on their tummy, essentially, and you go in, through the back, to get to the space, called the retro-peritoneum.”

In addition to cancer, hormone overproduction is a trigger.

“The adrenal gland usually produces hormones that work for adrenaline, blood pressure hormones, some of the sex hormones, and the stress hormone,” adds Dr. Khadra.

Without surgery, issues elevate blood pressure and aggravate diabetes. There are two glands, so one can be safely removed. In some cases of adrenal cancer, which is aggressive, it is still done with an open procedure, to ensure it’s all removed.

Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Producer; Bruce Maniscalco, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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BACKGROUND: Adrenal issues typically refer to problems affecting the adrenal glands, which are two small triangular-shaped glands located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands play a crucial role in producing hormones that regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, immune response, and the body’s response to stress. When these glands are not functioning properly, it can lead to a range of health issues. There are three types of adrenal issues: Addison’s disease, secondary adrenal insufficiency, and tertiary adrenal insufficiency. About 140 of every million people are affected by Addison’s disease, and about 280 of every million people are affected by secondary adrenal insufficiency. Women are more prone to get the disease, and people between the ages of 30 and 50.


DIAGNOSING: Signs and symptoms of adrenal issues can vary depending on the hormones, and they include, but aren’t limited to: upper body obesity, being tired and confused, developing high blood pressure, weakness, pain and spasms in your muscles, growing facial hair or balding, developing acne, having a deeper voice, and/or developing a greater sex drive. Adrenal issues can be diagnosed by your doctor by simply telling them your symptoms, testing your saliva, blood, or urine, or they can perform CT scans, MRIs, or nuclear imaging tests.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: An adrenalectomy is the most common way to treat adrenal issues. Rececntly, Houston Methodist developed a more advanced approach to perform the procedure – it’s called robot-assisted posterior retroperitoneoscopic single-port approach. This new approach involves one incision and the DaVinci robot. Benefits of this new approach include limited infections, short hospital stays, and patients experience less pain.


Helmi Khadra, MD, Endocrine Oncology Surgeon at Houston Methodist)



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