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Pheochromocytoma

  • Alternative Names

    Chromaffin tumors; Paraganglionoma


    Treatment

    Treatment involves removing the tumor with surgery. It is important to stabilize blood pressure and pulse with medication before surgery. You may need to stay in the hospital with close monitoring of your vital signs.

    After surgery, it is necessary to continually monitor all vital signs in an intensive care unit. When the tumor cannot be surgically removed, medication is needed to manage it. This usually requires a combination of medications to control the effects of the excessive hormones. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy have not been effective in curing this kind of tumor.


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    Expectations (prognosis)

    Most patients who have noncancerous tumors that are removed with surgery are still alive after 5 years. The tumors come back in less than 10% of these patients. Levels of the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine return to normal after surgery.


    Complications

    High blood pressure may not be cured in 25% of patients after surgery. However, standard treatments can usually control high blood pressure. In about 10% of people, the tumor may return.


    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • You have symptoms of pheochromocytoma
    • You had a pheochromocytoma in the past and your symptoms return