Adrenal Gland Anatatomy on The adrenal glands are located on the top of the kidney on both sides of the body.

What are Adrenal Glands?

Adrenal glands are orange-colored glands that are located on the top of both kidneys. Adrenal glands are about the size and shape of fortune cookies, sitting on top of the kidneys like hats. Everyone has two adrenal glands that make several important hormones that are required for healthy life. Although some adrenal conditions are treated with hormones, most adrenal diseases are treated with surgery to remove an adrenal tumor that is causing a very specific hormone problem. Return to this Home Page or use the navigation system to the left or the search box to find topics.

Section 1: Introduction to Adrenal Glands

What are Adrenal Glands? The basics of adrenal glands and an overview of the medical conditions they cause.

Adrenal gland has a medulla in the center and a cortex outside.

Normal Adrenal Gland Function. Adrenal glands make several different hormones that help maintain blood pressure and the salt balance in your blood.

Adrenal Gland Anatomy. Learn how adrenal gland anatomy makes adrenal surgery an operation for experts.

Common Adrenal Problems A quick look at the most common adrenal problems and how they are treated.

State-of-the-Art Treatments An overview of the best options for adrenal tumors and why you should seek the most experienced surgeon for the best outcome.

About the Carling Adrenal Center. The Carling Adrenal Center is the world's busiest adrenal surgery center, operating on patients from all 50 states and all over the world.

Become our Patient. The Carling Adrenal Center is the world's highest-volume adrenal treatment center. You can have Dr. Carling perform your adrenal operation.

Have a Question?

We know that there is a lot of information on the site and it can be hard to take it all in. If you have a question for Dr. Carling or for our office, please contact us using this form and we'd be happy to help.

Section 2: Adrenal Gland Tumors

Gross pathology of a typical adrenal adenoma (arrow). It has a typical yellow-orange color. This tumor caused Cushing’s syndrome (too much cortisol). Adrenal tumors can cause many different symptoms. Cross-section of a typical adrenal adenoma (arrow). It has a typical yellow-orange color. This tumor caused Cushing’s syndrome (too much cortisol). Overview of Adrenal Gland Tumors. A beginner's look at adrenal tumors.

Symptoms of Adrenal Gland Tumors. Specific symptoms caused by the different adrenal conditions and adrenal tumors.

High Blood Pressure and Adrenal Tumors. Learn how most adrenal gland tumors cause high blood pressure.

Lab and Blood Testing of Adrenal Tumors. We test the function of the adrenal glands and adrenal tumors by measuring different adrenal hormones.

Scans Used for Adrenal Tumors. The different types of x-rays, CAT scans, and other scans used to evaluate adrenal glands and adrenal tumors.

Adrenal Incidentalomas. Adrenal tumors that were found by "surprise" when an x-ray of the abdomen or back was performed for some other reason.

Risks of Cancer in Adrenal Tumors. Most adrenal tumors are benign, but some are malignant.

Section 3: Surgery for Adrenal Gland Tumors

A right adrenal tumor (arrow) seen on a CT scan. This proved to be a pheochromocytoma (too much adrenaline hormone production) A right adrenal tumor (arrow) seen on a CT scan. This proved to be a pheochromocytoma (too much adrenaline hormone production).

Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy (MBSA). Also called Minimally Invasive Back Scope Adrenal Surgery or Mini-Posterior Retroperitoneal Scope Surgery. This minimally invasive operation is the best adrenal operation and should be used for 95% of adrenal tumors.

Advantages of Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy (MBSA). A close look at the many benefits of this the most advanced minimally invasive adrenal operation. It is dramatically better and faster than any other adrenal operations including Robotic Adrenal Surgery (we won't even do a robot adrenal operation). If your surgeon recommeds a robotic adrenalectomy, you would want to seek a second opinion.

The 8 Types of Adrenal Surgery. Learn about the 8 different ways that a surgeon can remove an adrenal tumor--some are way out of date! See why Dr. Carling prefers the Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy (MBSA) in virtually every case.

Partial Adrenalectomy: The Partial Cortical-Sparing Adrenal Operation. Occasionally we need to save some of the adrenal gland and only remove the adrenal tumor--not the entire gland. Read more about partial adrenal surgery on our adrenal surgery blog

Old-Fashioned Open Trans-Abdominal Adrenal Surgery. Operating through the abdomen to remove adrenal tumors should rarely be done anymore. Only rare patients should have this big operation.

The Basics of Adrenal Surgery. An overview of the tricky nature of adrenal surgery.

Become our Patient. Instructions on how to become our patient at the Carling Adrenal Center and have America's most experienced and busiest adrenal surgeon perform your operation. Your health and safety are worth a trip to Tampa.

Section 4: Aldosterone Secreting Tumors: Conn's Syndrome

Introduction to Conn's Syndrome. Also called "Primary Hyperaldosteronism" because of the excess aldosterone adrenal hormone this tumor produces.

Symptoms of Conn's Syndrome. The aldosterone-secreting adrenal tumor causes classic Conn's syndrome symptoms in most people.

Diagnosis and Testing for Conn's Syndrome. A number of blood tests and a simple CT scan can diagnose most patients with Conn's Syndrome. Some can be difficult to diagnose.

Small Steri-strips (Band-Aids) after Right Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy; MBSA Adrenal surgery scar: Small Steri-strips (Band-Aids) after Right Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy; MBSA.

Complications of Conn's Syndrome. If the adrenal tumor is not removed, Conn's syndrome can cause life-threatening problems. Fortunately, a Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy (MBSA) can cure most in about 30 minutes.

Scans and X-Rays to Find the Conn's Syndrome Tumor. Most aldosterone-producing adrenal tumors can be found with the correctly done CT Scan.

Surgery for Conn's Syndrome Tumors. Almost all Conn's Syndrome tumors can be removed quickly with Mini Back Scope Adrenalectomy (MBSA).

WOW! BIG NEWS! The Carling Adrenal Center is the only center in the world which can now offer adrenal vein sampling and adrenal surgery all in one visit.

Section 5: Pheochromocytomas: Adrenaline-Secreting Tumors of the Adrenal Medulla

Introduction to Pheochromocytomas. Pheochromocytomas (Pheos) are tumors that grow from the central part of the adrenal gland.

Symptoms of Pheochromocytomas. Pheochromocytomas typically cause symptoms intermittently, but the symptoms and high blood pressure can be extreme.

Diagnosis and Testing for Pheochromocytomas. Specific blood tests and a simple CT scan can diagnose most pheochromocytomas.

Scans and X-Rays to Find the Pheochromocytoma. Most pheochromocytomas within the adrenal or outside the adrenal (called paragangliomas) can be found with the correctly performed CT scan.

Pheochromocytomas in Children and Teenagers. Although uncommon, pheochromocytomas do occur in children, providing special challenges.

Become Our Patient. People from around the world travel to have surgery with Dr. Carling multiple times per week.

Become Our Patient

Patients needing adrenal surgery travel from all over the world to have adrenal surgery with Dr. Carling, the most experienced adrenal surgeon. This page discusses how you can have your adrenal operation at the Carling Adrenal Center with Dr. Carling himself.

Become Our Patient Here

What to read next