Abdominal paraganglioma is a rare endocrine tumor associated with genetic mutations, however, the ability to predict long-term risk of metastasis has not been clarified. The aim of this study was to examine the clinicopathological features and outcomes in patients undergoing surgery for an abdominal paraganglioma. A retrospective analysis was performed for all patients undergoing surgery for abdominal paragangliomas from one surgical department between 1998 and 2010. Clinical presentation, hormone secretion and clinical outcomes were examined. A total of 23 patients underwent surgery for abdominal paraganglioma with the most common presentation being hypertension. Median time to metastasis was 32 months with all patients developing disease progression having a rise in urine catecholamines. Patients with capsular invasion or predisposing genetic conditions are at a higher risk of having more aggressive disease. All patients with a diagnosis of paraganglioma should be screened for predisposing genetic abnormalities and postoperative follow-up must include routine urinary catecholamine assessment.