Skip to Content

Transcranial Surgery for Pituitary Tumors


What do I need to know about transcranial surgery for pituitary tumors?

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.

How do I prepare for my surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. You may be given a liquid medicine called an enema. This will be put into your rectum to help empty your bowel the night before your surgery. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to do this. He will tell you what medicines you may or may not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during my surgery?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep during surgery. An endotracheal tube connected to a breathing machine may be put into your mouth to help you breathe during 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.

What are the risks of transcranial surgery for pituitary tumors?

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

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 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 IBM Watson Health

Further information

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

Learn more about Transcranial Surgery for Pituitary Tumors

IBM Watson Micromedex