Do you have any experience with Pheochromocytomas?

Dr. William Sullivan


A pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor that occurs within or near the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidneys. A pheochromocytoma secretes too much of a hormone called adrenaline. Excessive secretion of adrenaline is associated with severely elevated blood pressure, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and headaches. There are blood and urine tests that are used to diagnose this condition. If these tests show that one has a pheochromocytoma, then a CT scan or MRI of the adrenal glands is the next step. The primary treatment for a pheochromocytoma is surgical removal of the glands. Prior to surgery, medications are used to control the blood pressure and heart rate. Often, people that have a pheochromocytoma can be cured with surgery. Pheochromocytomas can also be associated with elevated blood glucose levels. After surgery, blood glucose levels will often improve in those that have a pheochromocytoma. As pheochromocytomas are rare tumors, they are treated at major medical centers that are tertiary care referral centers. You should discuss with your health-care provider which medical center in your area would have the most experience with pheochromocytomas.