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Tumors Endoscopic Approach Makes
Surgery for Pituitary Tumors Easier
While pituitary tumors generally are
benign, and many will never produce
symptoms, there can be potentially
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