Transsphenoidal Surgery For Pituitary Tumors

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary tumors is done to remove a tumor on the pituitary gland.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Problems may happen during surgery that may lead to a craniotomy (open brain surgery). Your brain, eyes, bones, blood vessels, or nerves may get injured during surgery. You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your hormone levels may suddenly change and cause serious problems. Your surgeon may not be able to remove the tumor completely. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

  • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

  • An endotracheal (ET) tube may be put into your mouth or nose. It goes down into your windpipe to help keep your airway open and help you breathe. It may be hooked to a ventilator (breathing machine), and you may get extra oxygen through your ET tube. You will not be able to talk while the ET tube is in place.

During your surgery:

Your surgeon will make an incision inside your nose or on your upper gums. He will use retractors, forceps, or a small chisel to open the walls of the sphenoid sinus. Your surgeon will also cut and open the coverings of your brain to get to the pituitary gland. He will then remove the pituitary tumor using an endoscope and other small tools. An endoscope is a bendable tube with a light and camera on the end. The openings and incisions will be closed with stitches. Your incisions will be covered with a bandage. Nasal packing, such as gauze or cotton, may be placed in your nostrils.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. You may need to breathe through your mouth until the nasal packings are removed by your healthcare provider. The bandages used to cover your stitches keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove your bandages soon after surgery to check your wound.

  • You may need to walk around the same day of surgery or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let healthcare providers know you need help.

  • You will be able to eat and drink gradually after surgery. You will begin with ice chips or clear liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then eat soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.

  • Medicines:

    • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

    • Antibiotics help prevent a bacterial infection.

    • Anticonvulsant medicine helps to control seizures.

    • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.

    • Diuretics help decrease swelling in your brain. This may improve blood flow to your brain.

    • Hormone replacement medicines replace certain hormones produced by the pituitary and other glands.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Transsphenoidal Surgery For Pituitary Tumors (Inpatient Care)

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