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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.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need to have x-rays, a CT scan, an MRI, and blood tests.

The night before your surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

  • 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.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have a sudden, severe headache.
  • You have trouble seeing, breathing, speaking, or thinking clearly.
  • You passed out or had a seizure.
  • Your face is getting numb, or you cannot move your arms or legs.

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.

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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 Transsphenoidal Surgery for Pituitary Tumors (Precare)

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Further information

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