Pituitary Tumors

Pituitary tumors are growths that develop in and around the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland regulates the release of hormones to the body.

Our skilled, board-certified specialists and professional staff are trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of pituitary tumors. Our integrated, multidisciplinary approach to care is in place to ensure our patients receive the comprehensive treatment they need to manage their individual condition.

What are Pituitary Tumors?

Pituitary tumors are abnormal growths that develop in and around the pituitary gland in a person’s brain. The cells of the tumor may grow and attack healthy cells in the surrounding tissue, interrupting bodily function and causing symptoms.

The pituitary gland controls hormone production in a person’s body. It is situated at the base of a person’s brain, above the nasal passages. Most pituitary tumors are benign (non-cancerous), yet are serious conditions due to the impact they have on the body and health. A pituitary tumor can interrupt or change hormone production, resulting in other changes in the body. Depending on the type of tumor and the hormones affected, symptoms may include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Dizziness
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Facial numbness or pain
  • Feeling cold
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Menstrual changes
  • Nausea
  • Sudden blindness
  • Unexplained weight loss gain
  • Weakness

Diagnosing Pituitary Tumors

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and conduct a physical examination, a visual field examination by a neuro-ophthalmologist, and review of your medical history to identify a pituitary tumor. A physician will most likely need to order certain tests to arrive at a diagnosis, or refer you to an endocrinologist for a complete hormonal workup.

Testing for pituitary tumors include screening of vision, and blood and urine screens to measure levels of certain hormones in the patient’s body. Certain imaging tests such as title=magnetic resonance (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans can help the specialist make a diagnosis by reviewing images of the inside of the brain.

Treatment for Pituitary Tumors

Treating pituitary tumors may depend on the size and hormonal productivity of the growth. Common methods of treating pituitary tumors include:

  • Surgery – A common method, the procedure may be done by accessing the tumor through the nasal passage, or through the patient’s skull, done by neuro-navigation precise endoscopy.
  • Medicine – May alleviate symptoms or aid the regulation of hormones affected by the tumor.
  • Radiation therapy – Directs high-powered particles or X-rays at the tumor, destroying its cells and shrinking the tumor or preventing its spread.