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Tumor of the pituitary gland is called a pituitary tumor.The pituitary gland plays a major role in the production of some of the hormones such as adrenocorticotropic and thyroid-stimulating hormone which also is responsible for the simulation of other glands. Most of the time pituitary tumors (pituitary adenomas) are benign tumors. Therefore, these tumors do not spread around and do not get to the point in which they threaten the patient’s life. Therefore, sometimes surgeons decide not to perform the removal since in such cases the Surgery's benefits might be less than its complications.
There are two general categories of pituitary tumors, determined by their size: 
• Microadenomas – adenomas of a size smaller than 1 cm. 
• Macroadenomas – adenomas bigger than 1 cm. 

Also, adenomas can be classified with accordance to their type of pituitary hormones which production is affected by them. Adenomas might influence the level of hormone production; it might decrease or increase production. These changes may cause some medical conditions which are not life-threatening, such as Cushing’s disease and other hormone-related syndromes. In addition, macroadenomas might influence the patient’s sight.If their influence is too great to be limited in non-invasive ways, doctors decide for a pituitary tumor removal.


Patients who have big adenomas (macroadenomas) which affects their hormones and/or sight significantly, can be the candidates for pituitary tumor removal. Other kind of pituitary tumor treatment is thought to be ineffective in such cases.

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Acibadem Maslak Hospital
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Antalya, Turkey
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Florence Nightingale Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey
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Istanbul, Turkey
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Ankara, Turkey
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KCM Clinic
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Ersoy Hospital
Istanbul, Turkey
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Izmir, Turkey
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Istanbul, Turkey
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For the patients who are having asuccessful treatment of pituitary tumor, pituitary tumor removal surgery would not be needed. Also, it should be noted that pituitary tumor removal operation might have serious consequences.


Initially, you should inform your doctors about your medical conditions and the medications you have been using. Additionally, you will be asked to for the day of your pituitary gland tumor removal.


Pituitary tumor removal surgery can be performed in two different techniques:

• Transsphenoidal Surgery – transsphenoidal Surgery is a beneficial technique specifically in cases of microadenomas and sometimes macroadenomas. It is relatively a new method, but its popularity is increasing across the world.Transsphenoidal Surgery is performed through one's nose – doctors cut through the nose and sinuses in order to reach pituitary gland. This technique is a less invasive method which causes shorter pituitary tumor removal recovery period and no visible scars.

• Transcranial Surgery – Transcranial Surgery is a classic brain tumor surgery which is performed by surgeons as cutting in the patient’s skull so as to reach the pituitary gland.It is preferred for bigger macroadenomas which may be hard to remove in the transsphenoidal resection.


The recovery period from pituitary tumor removal surgery begins at the hospital in 1-2 days stay, after the operation. After one-week monitoring, the patient can leave the hospital. During the recovery period, patients may suffer from some amounts of pain, which can be eased with painkillers. Also, sense of smell might be impaired for a few weeks, which would influence the pleasure of eating. 4 weeks after surgery, most patients can go back to work.


Both of the surgery methods(transsphenoidal and transcranial) have several risks related to the process. Complications of pituitary tumor removal surgery include damage to vessels, nerves, and brain, bleeding, and infection. Also, if the Surgery was completed with unsuccessful results, there might be a need for another kind of treatment techniques such as radiation or second pituitary tumor surgery. Lastly, the removal of the pituitary tumor may result with the failure of one’s pituitary gland in the long term, and hormonal therapy might be needed.


Common side effects of pituitary tumor removal are temporary loss of smell and mild pain.


Even though pituitary tumor removal surgery may seem like a difficult procedure and might have significant consequences, still it has a high success rate, which is thought to be around 90% or more. However, the success rate is strongly affected by the surgeon’s experience and skills in addition to the location and size of adenomas.


-What Is a Pituitary Tumor? 

Tumor of the pituitary gland is called a pituitary tumor which has an influence on the hormone production. These tumors are generally benign and do not progress into cancer.


-What Are the Symptoms of Pituitary Tumor? 
Pituitary tumor symptoms involve disorders such as Cushing’s disease and other hormone-related illnesses.


-Is Pituitary Tumor Removal the Only Pituitary Tumor Treatment Available?

No, there are other kinds of treatments available such as medications and radiation therapy for microadenomas and even macroadenomas.Pituitary tumor removal surgery is the last resort when adenomas do not respond to other treatments and affect one’s hormone production and/or sight.


Up to the case


This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.