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Pituitary surgery removes an abnormal growth on your pituitary gland. Your pituitary gland is at the base of your brain. It makes important chemicals called hormones. These hormones are involved in many of your body's functions, including growth, sexual development, reproduction, and your metabolism (the way your body uses food for energy).
If you had surgery under your lip or through your nose, you may have a headache and a slight runny nose after surgery. This will get better in 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor may recommend pain or decongestant medicines to help with these symptoms.
There are other less common symptoms after this type of surgery. You will feel tired, and your front teeth or upper lip may feel numb. You may gain weight. You may also have trouble breathing through your nose. You may have bruises under your eyes or on the side of your nose, and you may not be able to smell as well as usual.
If the doctor used a small piece of fat from your belly or thigh to plug up the hole in your nose, you will have a small scar on your belly or thigh that will fade over time.
You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in 1 to 2 weeks. If you had stitches, they will disappear on their own in 7 to 10 days.
If you had surgery through your skull, you will probably feel very tired for several weeks after surgery. You may also have headaches or problems concentrating. It can take up to 6 weeks to fully recover.
The cuts the doctor made (incisions) may be sore for about 5 days after surgery. You may also have numbness and shooting pains near your wound, or swelling and bruising around your eyes. As your wound starts to heal, it may start to itch. Medicines and ice packs can help with headaches, pain, swelling, and itching.
It is common for your scalp to swell with fluid. After the swelling goes down, you may have a dent in your scalp.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
Current as of: April 13, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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