Transsphenoidal Pituitary Tumor Removal

Hart Garner specializes in transsphenoidal pituitary tumor removal surgery. Learn more about this minimally invasive procedure for pituitary tumor removal here.

What is a Transsphenoidal Pituitary Tumor Removal?

Transsphenoidal surgery is also called transnasal endoscopy. It is a procedure used to remove pituitary tumors through the nasal passage, instead of opening the skull.
Surgeons in the OR

Who Needs a Transsphenoidal Pituitary Tumor Removal?

Transsphenoidal surgery treats tumors originating from the pituitary gland. Pituitary glands are small, pea-sized glands located at the base of the brain, above the nose. They regulate many hormones in the body.

Almost all pituitary tumors are benign (noncancerous) growths known as adenomas. Unlike malignant (cancerous) tumors, pituitary adenomas do not spread to other parts of the body. However, they can still cause a variety of health problems if left untreated.

Pituitary tumors that secrete hormones are known as ‘functioning’ tumors. An excessive amount of certain hormones leads to conditions like acromegaly and Cushing’s disease.

Tumors that do not secrete hormones are called “nonfunctioning” tumors. These tumors may become larger and press on adjacent brain structures. This can cause symptoms including vision loss and headaches.

In a traditional craniotomy, the surgeon opens the skull. This is avoided with a transsphenoidal surgery.

The neurosurgeon removes the tumor via the nasal passages and the sphenoid sinus. Then they can gain access to the pituitary gland from beneath the brain, to avoid important brain structures.

First, the neurosurgeon makes a small incision in the back wall of the nasal passages. This allows them to enter the sphenoid sinus. Next, he opens up the sella turcica, the bony cavity containing the pituitary gland.

Endoscopes, thin tubes with cameras at the tip, allow surgeons to see through a small incision and view the magnified operating site on a TV screen. This allows them to locate and remove the tumor.

Transsphenoidal surgery is also associated with a shorter recovery period, and leaves no scar.

Patients are usually able to go home from the hospital within one day after surgery. Nearly all patients are able to go home within two days. If a patient is severely debilitated as a result of their tumor, they may need to stay in the hospital for a third day, though this is rare.

Schedule an Appointment with a Neurosurgeon in Minnesota Today

Speak with a doctor about your options for transsphenoidal pituitary tumor removal surgery. Schedule an appointment with us today.