Pituitary Surgery

When is surgery needed?

Pituitary surgery is required when there is a tumor in the pituitary gland

a. Secreting excess hormones

b. Causing compression of adjacent structures like the optic nerve causing visual disturbance

Who does Pituitary surgery?

Pituitary surgeries are normally done by Neurosurgeons.

Where from they can touch the gland?

There are two approaches that are commonly used:

a. Transnasal approach: The gland is approached through the through the air sinus situated just in front of it. This is commonly used. Is less cumbersome than the other approach.


b. Transcranial approach: The gland is approached through an opening made in the skull

How long I need to stay in Hospital?

The patient needs to stay in the hospital for 3-4 days after surgery.

What are possible complications of surgery?

The complications that can arise after surgery include:

a. CSF rhinorrhoea: There can be a leak of the brain fluid (Cerebrospinal Fluid – CSF) through the nose after surgery. It is usually transient and settles down soon after surgery. If persistent can be a source of infection to the brain.

b. Diabetes insipidus: The posterior pituitary is responsible for maintenance of water & electrolyte balance in the body. Post op period can sometimes cause alteration in the secretion of posterior pituitary hormones.

c. Hypofunction of Pituitary hormones: If not from before, Hypopituitarism can develop after Pituitary surgery. There is nothing to worry about that we can now very effectively replace the deficient Pituitary hormones.

This article is prepared along with Dr Menaka