Shen, W., Kebebew, E., Clark, O. et al. World J. Surg. (2004) 28: 1176. doi:10.1007/s00268-004-7620-0
Over the past decade, laparoscopic adrenalectomy has become the operation of choice for resecting adrenal tumors. However, few reported data exist regarding the reasons for conversion from laparoscopic to open or hand-assisted adrenalectomy. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 261 consecutive laparoscopic adrenalectomies performed by one surgeon between 1993 and 2003. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy could not be completed in 8 of the 261 patients (3%); four of the operations were converted to hand-assisted laparoscopic adrenalectomy and four to open adrenalectomy. The reasons for the conversion were as follows: In three patients the tumor was too adherent to surrounding structures to be resected laparoscopically; in three patients the tumor was found to have malignant features during laparoscopy, and the operation was converted to achieve proper resection margins; in two patients the tumors were too large (15 and 16 cm, respectively) to be safely removed laparoscopically. The eight resected tumors included three pheochromocytomas, one myelolipoma, one angiomyolipoma, one solitary fibrous tumor, one liposarcoma, and one metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma. There were no cases in which conversion was required emergently for bleeding or other intraoperative catastrophes. All eight of the tumors removed were at least 5 cm in size (range 5–16 cm). The mean length of hospitalization was 4.4 days (range 3–8 days).