Acromegaly

Acromegaly happens when your pituitary gland, a tiny organ at the base of your brain, produces too much growth hormone. The extra hormones cause your bones and soft tissues to get bigger. It most often affects people between ages 40 and 45. The most common cause is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor on the pituitary gland. 

Overview

Symptoms

Acromegaly may cause your hands and feet to grow. You may notice that your rings or shoes don’t fit anymore. Other symptoms include:

  • Deepening of the voice
  • Excessive sweating
  • Severe acne and thickening skin

Because symptoms usually develop slowly, it might take time to diagnose acromegaly. It's important to seek treatment, because it can cause serious health problems if not treated. Occasionally, it can even be fatal.

Diagnosis

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact your doctor and schedule a physical exam. After you discuss your symptoms, your doctor may order lab work or imaging tests, such as:

  • Blood tests to measure how much growth hormone and other hormones your pituitary gland is producing
  • Glucose or blood sugar tolerance test
  • MRI or CT scans to see whether you have a pituitary gland tumor

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Treatment Options

Dr. Amin Kassam, Aurora’s Vice President of Neurosciences, explains the Expanded Endonasal Approach.

Our team will work with you to find the best treatment. A common treatment for acromegaly is surgery. Aurora specializes in minimally invasive surgery techniques, such as the Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA) which allows for a shorter hospital stays, quicker healing time and fewer scars. If surgery is not the right treatment for you or surgery doesn’t succeed, medical therapies may also be used.

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Get a Second  Opinion

Knowing all your options can make life's toughest decisions a little easier.

Your Life Your Health

myAurora makes it easy to manage your care online, anytime.