Pituitary surgery removes an abnormal growth on your pituitary gland. This gland is located at the base of your brain. It makes important chemicals called hormones. Your body uses these hormones for many functions, including growth, sex, and metabolism. (Metabolism is the way your body uses food for energy.)
You will be asleep during the surgery. You will not feel pain. The doctor can get to your pituitary gland in one of three ways.
This surgery usually takes about 2 to 3 hours. If the doctor goes under your lip or through your nose, you will probably leave the hospital in 1 to 3 days. You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in 1 to 2 weeks. If your doctor goes through your skull, you will probably leave the hospital in 3 to 9 days. But it may take 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.
After surgery, your symptoms may go away. For example, your vision may improve. Or your headaches may go away. If the growth comes back, or if the doctor could not remove the whole growth, you may need other treatment. This may include radiation.
After the surgery, you may need to take medicines to replace the hormones made by the pituitary gland.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your surgery.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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