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Adrenal Gland Biopsy


An adrenal gland biopsy is a procedure used to check for a mass, cyst, or other problems. A sample of tissue is taken from your adrenal gland. The adrenal glands are located on top of your kidneys. They produce hormones that help regulate your blood pressure, immune system, and metabolism.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Local anesthesia is medicine to numb the biopsy area. You may still feel pressure or pushing during procedure, but you should not feel any pain. You may also be given medicine to make you feel relaxed and sleepy.

During your procedure:

A CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound may be used to guide your surgeon during the biopsy. In some cases, a scope may be put through a small incision in your abdomen. The scope is a tube with a light and camera on the end. A long biopsy needle will then be inserted through your skin, or scope, and into your adrenal gland. Your surgeon may need to insert the needle more than once to get enough tissue for testing. The needle and scope will be removed when your surgeon has a large enough tissue sample for testing.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay.


You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. The tissue sample may be too small for testing and you may need another biopsy. Nearby organs may be damaged during the procedure. Hypertensive crisis (severe high blood pressure) may occur. This is when you have a type of adrenal gland tumor called a pheochromocytoma and it is punctured during the biopsy. This may be life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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