Skip to Content

Transsphenoidal Surgery for Pituitary Tumors

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary tumors is done 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 inside your nose or on your upper gums. He or she will open the walls of the sphenoid sinus. He or she will then remove the pituitary tumor with 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. 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 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 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 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.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 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

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)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

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