Pituitary Tumor

A pituitary tumor (sometimes called a pituitary adenoma) is a growth that develops in your pituitary gland, which is behind the nose. The pituitary controls the production of hormones that play a major role in the body’s functions.

Overview

Overview

Symptoms

Pituitary tumor symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety, nervousness, moodiness or depression
  • Changes to the face (for example, teeth may move further apart)
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Erectile dysfunction (in men)
  • Irregular menstrual cycles (in women)
  • Growth of your skull, hands and feet
  • Vision problems
  • Unexplained changes in weight
  • Weakness


Only a small number of pituitary tumors are cancerous, and so they don’t spread to other parts of the body. However, they can contribute to other medical issues, including:
 

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid disease

Diagnosis

If your doctor suspects you have a pituitary tumor, he or she may order tests, including:

  • Blood and urine tests to measure hormone and blood sugar levels
  • Inferior petrosal sinus sampling, in which blood samples are taken from the pituitary and tested to determine if a tumor could be causing the symptoms
  • MRI and CT scans to show if a tumor is present


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Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Dr. Amin Kassam, vice president for Neurosciences at Aurora Health Care, explains the Expanded Endonasal Approach, a minimally invasive surgery technique.

If you’re diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, your Aurora team, including neurologists and neurosurgeons, will work with you to determine the best treatment options.

Treatments may include:

  • The Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA), a minimally invasive procedure in which the tumor is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery.
  • Neuroendoscopic surgery, in which a surgeon makes a tiny hole in the skull, mouth or nose and inserts a thin tube (endoscope) to view and remove the tumor.
  • Craniotomy, in which a piece of the skull is removed in order to access and remove the tumor.
  • CyberKnife® radiosurgery, in which a non-invasive, robotic system delivers high radiation doses to tumors with pinpoint accuracy.

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