Pituitary endoscopic surgery also called transsphenoidal endoscopic surgery, is the most common procedure used to remove pituitary tumors. The pituitary gland is located at the bottom of the brain, above the inside of the nose. It is responsible for regulating most of your body’s hormones and chemical messengers that travel through your blood.
Endoscopic pituitary surgery is performed using an instrument called an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, rigid tube that contains a microscope, lamp, and camera, usually inserted through the nose. Cameras allow surgeons to watch on a television screen as the endoscope inserts other special instruments to remove the tumor.
The pituitary gland is a tiny, hormone-producing, bean-shaped gland located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland is also the master gland because it produces hormones that play important roles in virtually every body part.
The location of the pituitary gland at the base of the brain can make it quite challenging to access the gland. However, there are various surgical techniques that your neurosurgeon in Newport Beach can utilize when operating on a pituitary tumor to enable them to remove the tumor while ensuring that as much healthy pituitary tissue as possible is preserved.
About Pituitary Tumors
A pituitary tumor affects the gland making it less able to perform its functions. These tumors are rarely malignant and usually progress slowly. They may nevertheless have detrimental side effects and consequences, such as:
- Joint pain or muscle weakness
- Sexual dysfunction, irregular menstruation, and infertility
- Vision loss or diplopia (double vision)
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Fatigue, depression, and irritability
Surgery is one of the various treatment options available for pituitary tumor treatment.
What to Expect after Pituitary Tumor Surgery
After pituitary tumor surgery, it is normal to experience specific symptoms. These symptoms are usually temporary. Common symptoms after pituitary tumor surgery include:
- Swelling and bruising: There is usually some swelling and bruising around the face and nose. This is temporary and should resolve within a few weeks as you heal.
- Nasal drainage: After surgery, you should experience a small quantity of bloody nasal drainage lasting around three weeks. Contact your neurosurgeon in Orange County immediately if you experience a salty taste in your throat or a continual faucet-like drop of fluid from your nose, as these symptoms could indicate a post-surgery complication.
Twelve weeks following surgery, you will observe mucous and blood discharge when you begin to blow your nose. That is normal. Your sinuses will accumulate secretions throughout the night, so you may also experience increased morning nasal outflow.
- Decreased sense of smell: This can last a few weeks to a couple of months during pituitary tumor surgery recovery. Patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery frequently experience upper tooth numbness, which usually goes away in a few months. Taste sensation will also be impaired at this time because your olfactory sense dramatically influences it.
- Sinus congestion: This may cause headaches for a couple of days after pituitary tumor surgery and usually resolves once the swelling subsides.
- Nausea: Your painkillers may have a role in your postoperative nausea. Eating smaller meals frequently and avoiding fried or spicy food may help you experience less nausea.
- Constipation: Constipation is a common postoperative issue. Increasing the amount of fiber, water, fresh produce, and bran in your diet may be beneficial.
- Fatigue: For the first two weeks after your pituitary tumor treatment, you’ll likely feel exhausted and start feeling more energized after that. Your energy level returning to normal could take up to 6 weeks. Inform your doctor if you have significant exhaustion, as they may order blood tests to check your hormone levels.
- Visual changes: Your vision may fluctuate for three to four months following surgery. Don’t worry, as this is normal. Call your neurosurgeon in Orange County if you experience unexpected changes, such as double or hazy vision or reduced peripheral vision.
What to Expect after Pituitary Tumor Surgery
Pituitary tumor surgery recovery time or life after pituitary tumor surgery varies as each person has their recovery rate after neurosurgery. It is essential to be mindful of and respect your mental and physical limitations. However, to prevent complications like blood clots or pneumonia, you may want to start moving around as soon as you can following surgery as well as listen to your doctor’s instructions. You can begin with modest exercise and gradually raise your activity level with quick strolls. It is also essential to get lots of rest following any surgery.
If you work a desk job, aim to take 2-4 weeks off; if you work an active job, aim for 6 weeks. If your surgeon doesn’t suggest differently, you can resume your regular activities after six weeks. Ask your neurosurgeon in Newport Beach about restrictions on activities like swimming, weightlifting, and other strenuous physical activity. Usually, you are urged to wait 12 weeks before lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds.
- Smoking: Smoking impedes the healing process and increases the risk of developing a wound infection. Avoiding or minimizing this activity can significantly improve the recovery process.
- Sleeping: Using pillows to raise your head while you sleep may help lessen headaches.
- Driving: You can drive only when you’ve completed your pain medications, regained complete control over your fine motor movement, have full awareness of your surroundings, and experience no visual issues that affect your driving ability.
Pituitary tumors can be caused by the secretion of too much or too little of some hormones in the body. Some of its signs include headaches, pains, unexplained fatigue, irritability, mood changes, unexplained fatigue, vision problems, infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, erectile dysfunction, and more. We hope that you found this blog enlightening. To learn more, contact our Dr. Robert Louis at Neurologist Newport Beach or Call 949-383-4185 today.