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What is a pituitary tumor?

A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth that develops in the pituitary gland, located in the brain just behind the bridge of the nose.

Most pituitary tumors are benign (noncancerous) adenomas. Adenomas do not spread to other parts of the body.

Some pituitary tumors can cause the pituitary gland to preduce lower hormone levels, affecting how these hormones regulate functions in the body.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of pituitary tumors include:

  • Headaches
  • Inappropriate breast milk production
  • Menstruation irregularity
  • Vision problems 
  • Weight changes
  • Nausea and vomiting

Treatment

Many pituitary tumors are treated with observation, including routine checkups and imaging.

If the tumor begins to cause problems or threated other areas of the brain, treatment may be necessary. The exact treatment depends on the size, location and type of tumor. 

Options include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Medication

Transsphenoidal surgery

During a minimally invasive transsphenoidal hypophysectomy, a small piece of the bone is removed, and the tumor is resected and removed using a camera with the assistance of a specially trained ear, nose and throat surgeon (ENT).

Larger, more complicated tumors may require the surgical opening of your skull, called a craniotomy, to access and remove the tumor.

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