Trends in adrenalectomy: a recent national review

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery; Senior Scholars Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Adrenal Gland Neoplasms; Adrenalectomy; data; Female; Hospital Mortality; Humans; Laparoscopy; Male; Middle Aged; United States


Health Services Research | Surgery


BACKGROUND: Adrenalectomy remains the definitive therapy for most adrenal neoplasms. Introduced in the 1990s, laparoscopic adrenalectomy is reported to have lower associated morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to evaluate national adrenalectomy trends, including major postoperative complications and perioperative mortality.

METHODS: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was queried to identify all adrenalectomies performed during 1998-2006. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed, with adjustments for patient age, sex, comorbidities, indication, year of surgery, laparoscopy, hospital teaching status, and hospital volume. Annual incidence, major in-hospital postoperative complications, and in-hospital mortality were evaluated.

RESULTS: Using weighted national estimate, 40,363 patients with a mean age of 54 years were identified. Men made up 40% of these patients, and 77% of the patients were white. The majority of adrenalectomies (83%) were performed for benign disease. The annual volume of adrenalectomies increased from 3,241 in 1998 to 5,323 in 2006 (p < 0.0001, trend analysis). The overall in-hospital mortality was 1.1%, with no significant change. Advanced age (< 45 years as the referent; >/= 65 years: adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.10; 95%; confidence Interval [CI], 1.66-10.10) and patient comorbidities (Charlson score 0 as the referent; Charlson score >/= 2: AOR, 4.33; 96% CI, 2.34-8.02) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Indication, year, hospital teaching status, and hospital volume did not independently affect perioperative mortality. Major postoperative in-hospital complications occurred in 7.2% of the cohort, with a significant increasing trend (1998-2000 [5.9%] vs 2004-2006 [8.1%]; p < 0.0001, trend analysis). Patient comorbidities (Charlson score 0 as the referent; Charlson score >/= 2: AOR, 4.77; 95% CI, 3.71-6.14), recent year of surgery (1998-2000 as the referent; 2004-2006: AOR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.09-1.78), and benign disease (malignant disease as the referent; benign disease: AOR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.55-2.53) were predictive of major postoperative complications at multivariable analyses, whereas laparoscopy was protective (no laparoscopy as the referent; laparoscopy: AOR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.47-0.82).

CONCLUSION: Adrenalectomy is increasingly performed nationwide for both benign and malignant indications. In this study, whereas perioperative mortality remained low, major postoperative complications increased significantly.

DOI of Published Version



Surg Endosc. 2010 Oct;24(10):2518-26. Epub 2010 Mar 25. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Surgical endoscopy


Elan Witkowski participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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