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A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth in the pituitary gland, a part of the brain that controls the release of hormones from other endocrine (hormone-releasing) glands in the body. About 75 percent of pituitary tumors release hormones, and their cause is unknown. The Department of Neurosurgery at Boston Medical Center is equipped to treat these types of tumors effectively, in a patient-focused, compassionate environment.
Our team of talented physicians and nurses will work with you and your family to determine the best treatment plan for your unique situation. Your care is a collaborative effort between several departments, often primary care, neurology, endocrinology and neurosurgery. From your initial appointment through to post-operative follow up, we deliver a streamlined, multidisciplinary approach to the management of your pituitary tumor.
Some pituitary tumors are best managed with medication and some are more responsive to surgery. We are experienced with both minimally invasive and traditional open surgical approaches to tumors of the pituitary gland. Minimally invasive techniques using endoscopes to access the pituitary gland can allow us to avoid making a large incision in the skull (craniotomy), and they reduce pain, infection and complication rates and hospital stay. Working closely with the Department of Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery), many pituitary tumor surgeries can be performed in this way via the endonasal transphenoidal approach, which allows us to avoid the brain and reduce risk of brain injury. In this technique, the neurosurgeon works together with ear, nose and throat surgeons trained in functional endoscopy, a minimally invasive technique, to access the pituitary gland through the nasal cavity. This technique reduces the risks associated with other, more extensive surgical approaches. As compared to traditional surgery, post-procedural outcomes are improved and hospital stay is decreased.
We also offer Cyberknife® for pituitary tumors, which is a new technology used to treat one or more tumors with powerful radiation beams while minimizing injury to surrounding brain tissue. Often, neurosurgical treatment can cure or improve hormonal function enough to enable you to decrease the amount of medication you are taking, or even eliminate the need for medication altogether.