Glandes Surrénales

Medical Activities

Pathologies Treated

The sternum, the 12 vertebrates and both sides of the ribs forming the rib cage. It holds and protects a large number of vital organs such as the lungs and constitutes, to this effect, a complex barrier to gaining access to treatments. Treating thoracic pathologies by opting for minimally invasive techniques is the mission of the Thoracic Surgery Division.

Adrenal incidentaloma

An incidentaloma is a tumor discovered by chance during a radiological examination.

In order to determine whether it is a secreting or a non-secreting nodule, or a malignant tumor of the adrenal gland, comprehensive studies need to be carried out.

The results of the additional exams can determine whether surgery is indicated or if endocrinological monitoring is sufficient.


Pheochromocytomas are rare tumors, most often benign, in the central part of the adrenal glands (the medulla). They are often isolated and can be hereditary.

They generate hypersecretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine, often leading to high blood pressure, headaches and heart problems. If they are large and the hypersecretion is significant, they are life threatening (risk of heart attack or stroke).

Cushing disease

Cushing syndrome refers to all diseases that result in an increase in the level of cortisol in the blood (including when taking medication with cortisone) and the resulting symptoms (swollen face, skin manifestations, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, hirsutism, etc.).

If the syndrome is caused by an adrenal nodule (an often benign tumor), the disease is treated by surgical removal of the adrenal gland. A minimally invasive technique (laparoscopic removal) is used most often.

Patient care research

Medical and clinical research is one of the objectives of the HUG. The development of efficient and minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic strategies is the main research mission of the Division.

There are two main areas of research.

Adrenal cancer

Adrenal cancer, also called adrenocortical carcinoma, is a malignant tumor in the adrenal gland. It can be very large.

It often manifests with the symptoms of Cushing disease (swollen face, skin manifestations, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, hirsutism, etc.) due to excessive secretion of corticosteroid hormones.