The pea-sized pituitary is the major endocrine gland in your body. This tiny gland is vital for your growth and development and how the other endocrine glands function. It is attached to the base of your brain and close to your optic nerve. Even though it is small it affects almost every other part of your body. That’s why it’s important to choose specialists who are recognized for their expertise at the CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute.
Pituitary tumors are relatively common, and in the majority of cases they are benign. The exact cause of them remains unknown. These tumors are also called pituitary adenomas and do not spread to other areas of the body. Since this area of the skull is small, tumors may grow upward and start compressing nerves and the brain.
Pituitary Tumor Symptoms
A pituitary tumor can have a wide variety of signs and symptoms including:
- Trouble with vision (especially peripheral)
- Signs of hormone deficiency
- Body hair loss
- Irregular or no menstrual cycle
- Unintended weight gain or loss
Some of these tumors can actually be functioning tumors and cause overproduction of hormones. Non-hormone producing tumors only account for about three in 10 of all pituitary tumors.
Treatment will depend on the type and the size of the tumor. Our expert physicians will work with you to develop the best individualized treatment plan. Surgery might not always be necessary. For some cases, the best plan is to wait and see if the tumor causes problems. If the tumor is causing vision problems or overproducing hormones, then surgery can be done.
Two surgical techniques are used to remove the tumor depending on the size, exact location and type.
- One option is to go through the nose without any external incision and no visible scar; this technique is called transsphenoidal hypophysectomy.
- The other option is to remove the tumor through the upper part of the skull with an incision in the scalp.
Our staff at CHI St. Vincent will work with you to develop the best way to treat or remove the tumor and relieve any symptoms you experience. Contact us today to get the help you need.
Contact the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute at 501.552.3000.
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