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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 located behind the bridge of the nose and below the brain.

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.
  • A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator. You may need a trach if an ET tube cannot be placed. A trach is a tube put through an incision and into your windpipe.

During your surgery:

Your surgeon will make an incision on your forehead or the side of your head. He will use instruments, drills, and a small chisel to open or make a hole in your skull. Your surgeon will remove a piece of your skull and cut and open the coverings over your brain. He will gently lift the lower part of your brain to get to the pituitary tumor. Once the pituitary tumor is exposed, it will be removed. Your surgeon may use metal plates or screws to reattach the part of the skull that was removed. He will close the incisions on your head 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. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. 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 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.
    • Antinausea medicine helps calm your stomach and prevents vomiting.
    • Anticonvulsant medicine is given to control seizures.
    • Diuretics help decrease swelling in your brain. This may help your brain get better blood flow.
    • Hormone replacement medicines replace certain hormones normally produced by the pituitary.

RISKS:

Problems may happen during this surgery that may 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 get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

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.

© 2016 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.

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