Prolactinoma Newport Beach & Orange County, CA

Prolactinoma Treatment in Orange County

Prolactinoma Newport Beach & Orange County, CAProlactinoma is a common type of non-cancerous tumor that develops in the pituitary gland, resulting in the overproduction of the hormone prolactin. The effect of increased prolactin is a decrease in levels of some sex hormones, testosterone in men and estrogen in women. While prolactin is not considered life-threatening, it still has its negative effects such as vision impairment and infertility.


The cause of prolactinoma remains unknown, although studies attribute this condition to medications and underactive thyroid glands. Despite the pituitary gland’s small size, it greatly influences nearly every part of our body. Prolactin hormone production help regulate important functions such as growth, blood pressure, and reproduction.

Symptoms or signs of prolactinoma are not always apparent or noticeable. When symptoms of prolactinoma are present, traces of excessive prolactin in your blood (hyperprolactinemia) is evident or other symptoms may present if the tumor is large and causing pressure in the surrounding brain tissues. Because of the low estrogen and testosterone levels that occur due to elevated prolactin, symptoms of prolactinoma are specific to females or males.

Symptoms of prolactinoma in women:

  • Infertility
  • Absent or irregular periods
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Milky breast discharge
  • Low bone density

Symptoms of prolactinoma in men:

  • Headache
  • Visual problems
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Milky breast discharge (rare)
  • Low bone density
To diagnose prolactinoma, Robert Louis, MD, who has the experience and training in diagnosing prolactinoma, will conduct thorough medical history, and physical tests. Standard diagnostic tests for prolactinoma include:

  • Blood tests- Blood tests can help detect the overproduction of prolactin as a result of a pituitary tumor.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- Uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce detailed pictures of the brain.
  • Vision test- This test will help determine if the growth of a pituitary tumor has affected or impaired your sight or peripheral vision.
Prolactinoma treatment will depend on multiple factors, including the size and location of the tumor, age, and overall health condition of the patient. Treatment options include:

  • Medication
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Conventional Craniotomy
  • Radiation therapy

Medication- Oral medications can help regulate or decrease the production of prolactin and eliminate symptoms. Medications may also shrink the tumor.

Endonasal Endoscopy- A technique that allows an endoscope to be threaded through the nose and sinus to reach and remove pituitary adenoma.

Conventional Craniotomy- If the tumor is too large or has spread in the surrounding tissues, a conventional craniotomy may be required.

Radiation Therapy- This treatment option is considered if the patient does not respond to medication and cannot undergo surgery.

Robert Louis, MD, a fellowship-trained Orange County Neurosurgeon, is the Director of the Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Orange County, California. Dr. Louis has particular expertise in the endoscopic and minimally invasive treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, sellar and parasellar tumors, and skull base tumors.

Dr. Robert Louis specializes in minimally invasive brain and spine surgery for the removal of pituitary tumors. For appointments, please call (949) 383-4185 or Contact Us.