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Transcranial Surgery for Pituitary Tumors

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Transcranial surgery for pituitary tumors is used to remove a tumor on the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is attached to the brain and sits behind the bridge of the nose.

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.

During your surgery:

  • Your surgeon will make an incision on your forehead or the side of your head. He or she will remove a piece of your skull to see your brain.
  • Your surgeon will remove the pituitary tumor. He or she will put the piece of skull back in place. The incisions on your scalp will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will then be placed over your incisions and around your head to control bleeding.

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. The bandages used to cover your stitches keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your surgery to check your incision wound.

  • You will be helped to walk around after surgery. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed.
  • Medicines may be given to prevent or treat pain, a bacterial infection, or nausea. You may need medicine to control seizures or help decrease swelling in your brain. Certain hormones normally produced by the pituitary may need to be replaced with medicines.

RISKS:

Problems may happen during this surgery that can lead to more brain surgeries. Your brain, eyes, bones, blood vessels, or nerves may get injured during surgery. You may bleed more than expected, get an infection, or have trouble breathing. Your hormone levels may change suddenly and cause serious problems. Your tumor may not be completely removed during surgery. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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 Transcranial Surgery for Pituitary Tumors (Inpatient Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.