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Recovery now quicker for adrenal gland surgery

Kristie Nesbitt is the first person to undergo a state-of-the-art procedure in Western North Carolina to remove an adrenal gland. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Kristie Nesbitt is the first person to undergo a state-of-the-art procedure in Western North Carolina to remove an adrenal gland.

"Specifically, the adrenal glands will help with producing hormones that allow us to produce adrenaline, allow us to produce salt, allow us to produce sugar ... as well as sex hormones," explained surgeon Andrew Rhodes.

"I was noticing that my balance was kind of off, as far as getting more frustrated than normal -- more excitable than normal," said Nesbitt.

One of Nesbitt's adrenal glands, the hat-looking object on top of the kidney, became inflamed and cancerous.

The gland was removed at Mission Hospital going in from the back, rather than the traditional approach from the front, according to Rhodes.

"The patients recover better," he said. "They have less time to (return to) eating, and they're usually on their feet right after surgery and usually home the next day."

"It took about two weeks, and I was already back to work doing my normal activities," insisted Nesbitt. "I'm feeling really good now."

Plus, there is every indication she is walking away from it cancer free.

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