Today, endoscopic adrenalectomy has become a gold standard in endocrine surgery. To minimize the morbidity and improve cosmesis, single access retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (SARA) has been developed as an alternative to traditional multiport laparoscopy and single port access (SPA) surgery, potentially exploiting even more the already proven benefits of minimally invasive surgery. We applied the SARA technique to adrenalectomy using the posterior retroperitoneal approach. The aim is to highlight the current situation regarding the feasibility and safety of single access retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy and to present our initial experience. Between October 2010 and February 2011, a 74-year-old woman (body mass index (BMI) – 31 kg/m2) with pheochromocytoma (1.2 cm in size) and 3 women, aged 45, 46 and 66 years (BMI – 27, 32, 33 kg/m2), respectively, and all diagnosed with Conn's adenoma (from 1.2 cm to 2.0 cm in size), underwent single access retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomies. Operations were performed using conventional laparoscopic (STORZ) equipment. No conversions to the open or conventional retroperitoneal approach were necessary. There were no perioperative or postoperative complications. Operating time ranged from 60 min to 80 min. All patients left the hospital 2 days after surgery. The single access retroperitoneoscopic technique has been successfully applied to adrenalectomy as an available alternative to multiport laparoendoscopic adrenalectomy and single port access surgery. Exposure, visualization and dissection are the same as in retroperitoneal endoscopic adrenalectomy. The SARA surgery offers patient benefits such as faster convalescence, decreased postoperative scarring, better cosmetic effect and financial benefit.
Keywords: endocrine surgery, adrenalectomy, retroperitoneoscopy, single access