What is endoscopic trans-sphenoidal hypophysectomy? 

The pituitary gland is found at the case of the brain. It is responsible for producing various hormones important for body functions such as growth, blood pressure, function of the sex organs, thyroid gland, kidney function and some aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and breast milk production. Pituitary adenoma is benign overgrowth of the pituitary gland, which may on occasion cause overproduction of hormones of the pituitary gland and pressure on structures close to the gland in the brain (optic nerve). Certain pituitary growths can be treated with medicine alone (prolactinomas) whilst other tumours require surgery.


How does the procedure work?

Endoscopic trans-sphenoidal hypophysectomy is s minimally invasive surgical procedure performed in a multidisciplinary team (ENT and neurosurgeon). The operation is performed using specialised cameras (endoscopes) and instruments working through the nasal cavities and sphenoid sinus to access the pituitary growth.


How should I prepare for the procedure?

In all cases, your surgical team will need to conduct a CAT scan and/or MRI before surgery to see exactly where the tumour is located. Careful assessment is needed to fully ascertain the nature and extent of the tumour. This helps guide the surgery. The procedure is always performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. You will be given specific instructions before your date of surgery instructing you when to stop eating/drinking and specific medication that may be needed before or after surgery. 


What can I expect after the surgery?

You will be monitored very closely in intensive care immediately post-operatively. We pay very careful attention to managing your pain and kidney function after the procedure. A dissolvable material is placed into the nasal cavities after the surgery to help with healing and to minimise the risk of potential bleeding. Your neurosurgeon, endocrinologist, ENT, ophthalmologist and oncologist will determine if any further treatment is warranted after the surgery.