Pituitary adenoma

Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas

Non-hormone-producing adenomas (those consisting of tumorous cells that do not produce excessive hormones)

If these do not cause any particular symptoms, surgery is not performed. However, if blood tests show that pituitary function is impaired and hormones are not being released as normal, medication is used to supplement hormonal deficiencies. Surgery is considered if the tumor is large, hormonal function is severely disturbed or the visual field has been reduced. There is no way to shrink this type of tumor using drugs. Radiotherapy may sometimes be required.

Hormone-producing adenomas (those producing more hormones than normal)

Prolactin-producing tumors are basically treated with oral drug therapy. Surgery may be performed if the tumor is comparatively small and it is possible to completely remove it surgically, if oral medication is ineffective, or if the patient is unable to continue taking oral medication because of nausea or other reasons. Growth-hormone-producing tumors are basically treated by surgical removal. If growth hormone levels do not drop sufficiently after surgery, radiotherapy, oral medication, and treatment with injections can also be used.


Surgery is carried out through the nostrils under general anesthetic. Part of the skull supporting the pituitary from below at the back of the nasal cavity is removed, and a ring-shaped device is used to scrape out the pituitary adenoma. Sometimes an endoscope may be used to extract adenomas from hidden areas at the back. As this surgery is performed via the nostrils, an important feature is that it does not leave a scar on the surface of the body. After all of the adenoma has been removed, a piece of fat taken from the abdomen is embedded to finish the procedure.

[Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas ]

A ring-shaped device and an endoscope are inserted transnasally and the lesion is scraped out.

M Matsumae. Understanding the tumor. Clinical study. Vol 29, No. 14, 2008
Medical Friend Co. Ltd. Illustrator Kitahara Isao

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