Obesity is usually considered a risk factor for surgical complications. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy has replaced open adrenalectomy as the standard operation for adrenal tumors.
To compare the safety of laparoscopic adrenalectomy to treat adrenal tumors in obese versus nonobese patients.
This observational cohort study analyzed consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy with a lateral transperitoneal approach at a single center (2003-2020). Data and outcomes of obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2) and nonobese patients were compared. To analyze the association between operative time and other variables, we used simple and multivariate linear regression.
N = 160 (90 obese/70 nonobese) patients underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy. Cushing syndrome and pheochromocytoma were the most frequent indications. Obese patients were older (58 vs. 52 years, p < 0.001). A greater proportion of obese patients were ASA grade III + IV (71.1 vs. 48.6%, p = 0.004). Obesity was associated with a longer operative time (72.5 vs. 60 min, p < 0.001) and greater blood loss (40 vs. 20 mL, p = 0.022). There were no differences in conversion, morbidity, or hospital stay. After adjustment for confounding factors, operative time was positively correlated with BMI ≥30 kg/m2, learning curve, estimated blood loss, 2D laparoscopy, and specimen size.
Lateral transperitoneal laparoscopic adrenalectomy is safe in patients with a BMI 30-35 kg/m2, so these patients also benefit from this minimally invasive surgery.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.