Spleen, Adrenal, and Pancreatic Disorders

There are a number of conditions that may affect the spleen, adrenal glands, and pancreas. While some may be managed through medications, the best treatment plan often involves surgery. Mount Sinai surgeons are highly skilled in the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques for treating disorders of the spleen, adrenal glands, and pancreas.

Spleen Treatments

An organ located in the upper, left side of the abdomen, your spleen helps the body fight infection and filter blood. A number of conditions could affect your spleen, such ashypersplenism (an overactive spleen), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (a bleeding disorder), or an abscess in the spleen. If medications fail to control such conditions, the spleen may have to be surgically removed.

The surgeons at Mount Sinai are skilled in splenectomy, a procedure to remove the spleen. Done under general anesthesia, this surgery may be performed with an “open” method that involves an incision in the belly through which the spleen is removed. However, in certain cases, Mount Sinai surgeons are instead able to perform a splenectomy as a laparoscopic procedure that involves making a few small cuts through which a tiny camera and other surgical instruments are inserted, and the spleen is removed.

Adrenal Gland Treatments

Your body has two adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys, which produce various hormones. There are a number of adrenal gland disorders, including adrenal cancer (malignant cells), aldosternomas (benign tumors causing an overproduction of aldosterone), and Cushing disease (caused by an overproduction of cortisol).

To treat most adrenal cancers, it is necessary to remove the adrenal tumors. At Mount Sinai, our skilled surgeons are experienced in a wide variety of minimally invasive techniques, including adrenal-sparing surgery. Our surgeons work with endocrinologists and other specialists to choose the right treatment plan and ensure you receive the best possible care.

Pancreatic Tumor Treatments

The pancreas is a complex organ in the mid-abdomen that is involved in many bodily functions, including blood sugar regulation, and digestion and absorption of food. There are many different types of masses, or tumors, which can arise within the pancreas. Some tumors can be malignant, such as adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, and some can be benign, such a cysts. The prognosis and treatment of a pancreatic tumor depends on its location, its size, and the type of cells it arises from.

Pancreatic tumors can be evaluated closely on imaging studies, such a CT scan, and the exact type of tumor can be characterized in a biopsy. Since treatment of pancreatic tumors varies widely depending on the tumor characteristics, it is important to get an immediate evaluation by a specialist experienced in treating these tumors.

The most common type of cancer of the pancreas is adenocarcinoma, which is an aggressive cancer that arises from the cells of the pancreatic duct. If a pancreatic cancer is surgically removable, it is ideal to have surgery as soon as possible before the tumor grows or metastasizes. A surgeon can discuss specific surgical options for these types of tumors. If a tumor is too far advanced, sometimes surgery is not a first-line option.

Patients with pancreatic cancer will also need to consult with an oncologist, as most patients will require chemotherapy and radiation therapy after or instead of surgery.

For pancreatic tumors that are not cancerous, surgery can be curative.