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Pituitary Tumors Endoscopic Approach Makes Surgery for Pituitary Tumors Easier STORY HIGHLIGHTS While pituitary tumors generally are benign, and many will never produce symptoms, there can be potentially life-threatening complications. When surgery is called for, the endoscopic approach reduces the chance that residual tumor cells will be left behind. UCLAHEALTH.ORG Because of their location near the brain and their influence on the endocrine-hormone functions of the body, treating and removing pituitary tumors can be complex. Today, however, advanced endoscopic technology and high-definition visualization are making things easier for surgeons and their patients. tumor cells embedded in it, leaving it behind increased the chances of an incomplete removal. The endoscopic approach has radically changed pituitary tumor surgery, allowing us to accurately define and maintain the very thin pseudocapsule during dissection to actually peel out the tumor, often in one piece, in a more anatomical manner.” Until recently, for example, it has been a But with new minimally invasive endoscopic significant technical challenge to completely surgery, the encapsulated tumor can be removed remove large pituitary tumors utilizing what is entirely through the nose without an incision. called the pseudocapsular dissection technique. “With the endoscope, we can literally look around “Five years ago, we were rarely able to identify corners and see things we were completely blinded the pseudocapsule. Instead, our technique relied to in the recent past,” Dr. Bergsneider says. “It’s a on blindly scooping out a tumor, largely by feel, whole different surgery now.” from within this pseudocapsule because we had a limited view of the tumor using the surgical While pituitary tumors generally are benign, and microscope,” says Marvin Bergsneider, MD, many will never produce symptoms, there can codirector of UCLA’s Pituitary Tumor Program. be potentially life-threatening complications “Because the pseudocapsule frequently has some that arise when hormone-seeking tumor cells 1-800-UCLA-888 (1-800-825-2888)