Pheochromocytoma Support Foundation

  Shining the light on pheochromocytoma awareness through education, early detection, and support. 

Treating a pheochromocytoma.

The primary treatment for a pheochromocytoma is surgery to remove the tumor. Surgery is often very successful, and the tumor does not usually grow back.

Before Surgery

Before undergoing surgery, a doctor will prescribe medications. These medications help stabilize the heart rate, blood pressure, and quality of the microcirculation inside organs prior to surgery. Doing this lowers the risk of complications during surgery, as pheochromocytomas differ from other tumors. During surgery the tumor produces catecholamines, which will increase the patient's blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels. The medications prior to surgery lower the risk for the patient during surgery.

The Surgery Itself

Most pheochromocytomas are removed laparoscopically.  The key to successful surgery is effective teamwork between the surgeon and anesthesiologist. In other words, both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist must be versed in pheochromocytoma treatment, and ideally the two will have performed a number of similar operations together previously.


Most patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery stay one to two days in the hospital, after which they return to normal activities within one to two weeks.