Even though a pituitary tumor is not life-threatening, it’s scary to hear the word “tumor.”
There’s no need to panic: Only a small number of pituitary tumors are cancerous, and the tumor won’t spread to other parts of your body.
A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth in the tissue of the pituitary gland, which sits near the base of the brain. A healthy pituitary gland produces hormones that regulate your cells, tissues and behavioral activities. A tumor interferes with healthy functioning.
If you have a pituitary tumor, you may not show any symptoms. But there are a few things you can watch out for:
- Extreme weight loss or gain
- Growth in feet, hands or skull
- Gaps between your teeth
- Severe issues with eyesight
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with us at 414-385-7111. Our neurologists will give you a variety of tests, checking your hormone and blood sugar levels. Your doctor may also recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan of your head to check for a pituitary tumor.
If you’re diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, surgery is the most common treatment. Here are the three most common types of surgery for pituitary tumors:
Endoscopic Endonasal Approach
We’ve found the best treatment is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach. This minimally invasive technique allows your neurosurgeon to examine the pituitary gland without making an incision.
During the procedure, the tumor is removed through the nose and nasal cavities. Your doctor will check to make sure the pituitary gland doesn’t have other lesions or abnormal tissues. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, you’ll heal quickly with no scarring or disfiguration to your face or body.
During this type of surgery, neurologists remove some of the pituitary tumor through a tiny hole in the skull, mouth or nose. Neurologists are able to remove the tumor through an endoscope, which is a device that’s equipped with a high-resolution camera and a bright light.
A craniotomy is a much rarer surgery. During the procedure, a neurologist makes a small cut on your scalp and removes a piece of the bone from the skull. Your neurologist then removes the tumor, without causing brain damage. Once the tumor is removed, your doctor replaces the bone and closes the incision.
We know that “tumor” isn’t a word you want to hear when you visit the doctor. But we’re here to help you take care of it. Give us a call at the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute at 414-385-7111 to make an appointment today.