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Neurosurgical Treatment Of A Pituitary Adenoma Associated With Cushing's Disease

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Cushing's disease is a rare condition that affects only 10 to 15 per million people annually. While the underlying mechanics of the disease can vary between patients, the presence of a pituitary adenoma is commonly a determined cause of heightened hormonal levels signifying the condition. If you are diagnosed with Cushing's disease and are found to have a pituitary adenoma, neurosurgical treatment may be the best option. Surgically removing the pituitary adenoma is considered the best treatment. Read on to learn more about this treatment option. 

How is the pituitary adenoma removed exactly?

The most common route of removal is through transsphenoidal surgery. Transsphenoidal surgery involves the neurosurgeon using endoscopic instruments to access the pituitary gland through a small cavity just above the inside of the nasal passageways. A camera is used to give the surgeon a precisely magnified look at the tumor as they work with the small instruments. The tumorous adenoma is carefully excised from the pituitary gland by making fractional cuts to dislodge the tumorous tissue. 

How long will it take to recover from transsphenoidal pituitary surgery?

The recovery from pituitary surgery to remove a pituitary adenoma is relatively short in comparison to other types of brain surgery. Most patients will be in the hospital for a few days following surgery just to make sure the healing process gets off to a good start and there are no obvious concerns. Beyond the initial stay in the hospital, many patients get to return to their normal activities within about two weeks. Because the surgery is done through the nasal and sinus cavities, you will not have any major wounds to care for or access points exposed that can delay the healing process. 

How safe is pituitary adenoma removal surgery?

The transsphenoidal approach to removing the pituitary adenoma is the most preferred method due to its safety and efficacy. The location of the tumorous tissue is easily accessible through the nasal cavity, so the risks that can go along with usual brain surgery can be negated. Likewise, the endoscopic procedure allows the neurosurgeon to precisely eradicate the tumorous tissue without affecting healthy tissue. In the case of the pituitary adenoma, the healthy tissue is the pituitary gland, which serves several critical processes for the body. Since transsphenoidal removal of the adenoma involves a shorter recovery time, the patient also has a lowered risk of infection through the healing process.  

For more insight, contact services such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.