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An adrenalectomy is surgery to remove one or both adrenal glands. Most adrenal tumors are noncancerous (benign). You may need surgery (adrenalectomy) to remove an adrenal gland if the tumor is producing excess hormones or is large in size (more than 2 inches or 4 to 5 centimeters). If you have a cancerous tumor, you also may need an adrenalectomy. You may also need an adrenalectomy to remove cancer that has spread from another location, such as the kidney or lung.

If both adrenal glands are removed, you’ll need to take hormone medications. If only one gland is removed, the remaining gland will take over if you don’t need any kind of treatment.