Objective: Paraganglioma (PGL) is a rare type of tumor that arises from the extra-adrenal paraganglia. A PGL tumor hypersecretes catecholamines and causes symptoms identical to those in patients with hyper-functioning adrenal pheochromocytoma (PCC). In this study, we compared the surgical outcome of laparoscopic surgery, including laparoendoscopic single-site (LESS) surgery, in patients with PCC and patients with retroperitoneal solitary PGL. Methods: The records of 49 patients with PCC and 9 patients with unilateral retroperitoneal PGL at our institution from January 2001 to March 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Multiple tumors, tumors suspected of being malignant preoperatively, and tumors operated on using a retroperitoneal approach were excluded from the study. Results: Each group was equivalent with respect to patient background, hemodynamic variables, and preoperative biochemical assessments, including plasma catecholamine levels and catecholamine levels in 24-hour urine samples. The mean operative time was significantly longer in the PGL group (149.4±56.5 minutes v 189.8±44.9 minutes, P=0.019). In univariate and multivariate analyses, tumor size ≥50 mm and PGL were statistically significant factors that predicted prolonged operative time. Intraoperative hypotension occurred in 15 patients in the PCC group and in 8 patients in the PGL group, and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.002). One postoperative complication in the PCC group and two postoperative complications (Clavien-Dindo grade II or higher) in the PGL group were observed, and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.012). Twenty-two patients in this series underwent LESS surgery (PCC: n=19; PGL: n=3), and there was no statistically significant difference in the perioperative outcomes between the two groups. Conclusions: The present results demonstrate that the operation for solitary extraperitoneal PGL required a longer operative time and had more hypotensive episodes and higher postoperative morbidity than the PCC group. Though the perioperative outcome of LESS surgery for PGL is comparable to that of PCC, we should treat the patients with PGL accordingly.
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