Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus | PITUITARY TUMORS
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PITUITARY TUMORS

PITUITARY TUMORS

Pituitary tumors originate from the pituitary gland which is located just behind the sphenoid sinus in the very back of the nasal cavity. These pituitary neoplasms usually present with a loss of peripheral vision because when the tumor enlarges it compresses the optic nerves which sit above it. Since the pituitary gland regulates hormone levels, tumors of it can also present with galactorrhea or other symptoms of hyperthyroidism, acromegaly, and Cushing’sdisease. For these reasons, many patients with pituitary tumors are first seen by an eye doctor or endocrinologist. Pituitary tumors are very serious because they can cause severe permanent vision loss or damage to the body from abnormal hormone levels if left untreated. For such serious problems you need to see a nose and sinus specialist at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus. Dr. Kuperan is one of the few fellowship certified Rhinologists in all of Texas with specialized expertise, experience, and skills in treating patients with all types of pituitary tumors.

UNDERSTANDING PITUITARY TUMORS

Most pituitary tumors are benign meaning that they do not invade into adjacent structures and do not spread to other parts of the body. However, over time these tumors can cause headaches and visual loss from compression on adjacent structures. Some rare breast and renal cancers can actually spread to the pituitary gland in which case the pituitary tumor is actually considered a metastasis. Many pituitary tumors present with loss of peripheral field vision because they compress the optic nerves from below. Benign pituitary tumors come in two varieties: functional and non-functional. Functional tumors secrete excessive hormones and can present with galactorrhea or other symptoms of hyperthyroidism, acromegaly, and Cushing’s disease. Non-functional tumors do not secrete any excess hormones but can impair vision. Concerning symptoms associated with pituitary tumors include:

  • Gradual new onset loss of peripheral field vision
  • Double vision

  • Severe new onset headaches
  • New changes in hormone levels or symptoms of hyperthyroidism,
    acromegaly, or Cushing’s disease

TREATING PITUITARY TUMORS

If you have signs or symptoms of a pituitary tumor it is critical to consult a Rhinologist immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The initial evaluation will consist of testing hormone levels to assess if the tumor is functional, visual field tests, and a nasal endoscopy (looking inside the nose with a small camera) to determine if a sinus tumor is invading into the sphenoidsinus. Next, an MRI of the pituitary gland is performed to determine the size of the tumor, and if there is compression on the optic nerves. We can safely perform transnasal minimally invasive endoscopic pituitary tumor resection . This approach is done through the nose without any visible scars or incisions. This surgery is done in conjunction with a skilled Neurosurgeon because the tumor is intracranial and a team approach provides the best outcomes. The key is choosing an approach tailored to the severity and symptoms of your pituitary tumor. There is not one single solution that is correct for every patient, and that’s why Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus is unique. We don’t promote a “cookie- cutter” approach to treatment like some other practices. Dr. Kuperan’s super specialized expertise and experience as a Rhinologist will make sure you get the best treatment to quickly and safely remove your pituitary tumor.