The removal of an insulinoma occurs via laparoscopic surgery or abdominal surgery. Removing the tumor is the standard treatment and usually cures the disease, but it may require partial removal of the pancreas and liver or stomach as well, states Healthline.
Laparoscopic surgery is the typical treatment for one small insulinoma. This is a minimally invasive surgery that involves the surgeon using miniature instruments to make a small incision, Healthline describes.
Abdominal surgery is implemented when an insulinoma is large or there are multiple insulinomas. This surgery is more invasive and requires a longer recovery period. Part of the pancreas may need to be removed along with the large tumor or multiple tumors, and sometimes partial liver or stomach removal is needed as well, according to Healthline.
In rare cases, removing the insulinoma does not cure the disease. This usually occurs when the tumor is malignant. Medications can be prescribed to control blood sugar, while other treatments, such as radiofrequency ablation and chemotherapy, may be used, advises Healthline.
Insulinomas, which are more commonly found in women, are pancreatic tumors that produce excessive amounts of insulin, causing low blood sugar. More than 90 percent of these tumors are benign but cause low blood sugar symptoms, such as weakness, hunger, tiredness and tremulousness, states the University of Southern California Department of Surgery.