The pituitary gland, located within the skull, connects to the hypothalamus and links brain activity with hormone production to help maintain the function of organs throughout the body. Considered the master gland of hormone production, the pituitary regulates all other glands within the body.
Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop within the gland and may affect hormone production throughout the body, causing some of the following symptoms:
- Vision loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Weight gain or loss
The cause of pituitary gland tumors is unknown, although some cases do run in families. Although usually noncancerous, these tumors require thorough treatment to ensure proper pituitary gland function.
Treatment for Pituitary Adenoma
Surgery for pituitary gland tumors is the most common form of treatment, and involves removing the entire tumor through either the nose or the top of the skull, depending on the size and location of the tumor. Utilizing advanced surgical techniques such as endoscopy and image guidance, these procedures can be performed effectively with shorter recoveries, less scarring and a lower risk of complications.
Radiosurgery may also be used to treat pituitary tumors. Radiosurgery is a non-invasive technique that uses high dose radiation to destroy tumor cells. Radiosurgery may be used if tumor recurs after surgery or if patients are too sick to undergo surgery.
In some cases, medication may used to treat pituitary tumors such as with tumors that secrete prolactin (prolactinomas). Often, these tumors respond well to medical treatment and further intervention may not be required.
Recovery from Pituitary Surgery
After surgery, patients will likely stay in the hospital for one to two days before returning home. You can begin drinking liquids and eating soft foods as soon as you feel comfortable. Many patients experience mild discomfort or a headache for a few days after surgery, which can be managed with Tylenol or other over-the-counter medications. It is important to avoid lifting any heavy objects for one month after surgery and to avoid blowing your nose for some time as well. Your doctor will provide detailed pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure that you achieve successful results from your procedure.
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained neurosurgeon in New Jersey and specialist in the treatment for pituitary adenoma. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world as well as locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for pituitary adenoma. Dr. Lipani offers image guided brain surgery approaches and the latest in noninvasive radiosurgery procedures for pituitary adenoma treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art pituitary adenoma treatment, or to learn about CyberKnife radiosurgery, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!