Endoscopic pituitary surgery, also called transsphenoidal endoscopic surgery, is the most common surgery used to remove certain types of tumors that start to grow in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located at the bottom of your brain and above the inside of your nose. It is responsible for regulating most of your body’s hormones, the chemical messengers that travel through your blood.
Endoscopic pituitary surgery is usually done under general anesthesia with the use of an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, rigid tube that has a microscope, light, and camera built into it, and it’s usually inserted through the nose. The camera lets your surgeon watch on a television screen while inserting other special instruments through the scope to remove the tumor.
Endoscopic pituitary surgery is done to remove certain types of tumors that start to grow in your pituitary gland:
- Hormone-secreting tumors. These growths secrete chemical messengers that travel through the blood.
- Nonhormone-secreting tumors. These growths, also called endocrine inactive pituitary adenomas, are removed by surgery because as they increase in size they may cause headache and visual disturbances.
- Cancerous tumors. These growths may be treated with a combination of surgery, cancer drugs, and X-ray treatment.