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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.
HOW TO PREPARE:
The week before your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need to have x-rays, a CT scan, an MRI, and blood tests. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The night before your surgery:
- You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
- Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your surgery:
- Ask your healthcare provider before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Providers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for 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.
- 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:
An endotracheal tube connected to a breathing machine may be put into your windpipe to keep your airway open and help you breathe during your surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision inside your nose or on your upper gums. He will use retractors, forceps, or a small chisel to open the walls of the sphenoid sinus. Your surgeon will also cut and open the coverings of your brain to get to the pituitary gland. He will then remove the pituitary tumor using 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. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. You may need to breathe through your mouth until the nasal packings are removed by your healthcare provider. 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 cannot make it to your surgery.
- 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 convulsion.
- Your face is getting numb, or you cannot move your arms or legs.
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 get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.
Care AgreementYou 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.
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