How is a Pituitary Tumor treated?

Our neurosurgeons treating pituitary tumors use advanced technologies to remove as much of the tumor as possible while preserving the surrounding brain tissue.

Our Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital offers comprehensive treatment for all types of pituitary tumors. The Center’s director, Edward Laws, MD, is a world-leader in pituitary surgery. He has performed more than 6,000 transsphenoidal operations for pituitary disorders. 

What are the Pituitary Tumor treatment options at Brigham and Women’s Hospital?

Our experienced neurosurgeons treat hundreds of pituitary tumor patients each year. The Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a patient-focused center, with a multidisciplinary team that will work closely with you and your family to develop a treatment plan tailored to your situation. We offer state-of-the-art treatment and care. Your treatment is personalized to the extent of the condition, your age, and your overall health. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery: Especially for tumors causing severe symptoms, surgery may be necessary. Minimally invasive surgery, which involves removing the tumor through the nose or sinuses, usually is possible. Options include:
    • Transsphenoidal surgery – Surgical instruments are inserted through an incision under the upper lip or at the bottom of the nose, and then through the sphenoid bone (at the base of the skull) to reach the pituitary gland.
    • Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery – An endoscope is inserted through an incision at the back of the nose, and then through the sphenoid bone, (at the base of the skull) to reach the pituitary gland.
    • Craniotomy – The tumor is removed through a temporary opening in the skull.
  • External beam therapy: This type of radiation therapy sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells in order to kill or shrink tumors.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery: This innovative treatment directs a single high dose of radiation into the cancerous tissue with very narrow beams of radiation.
  • Medications: Certain medications may be used to shrink some tumors. Other medications are used to suppress the tumor’s hormone-producing function.  

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is ranked among the top 20 U.S. hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Our doctors treat many patients who have pituitary tumors each year. Our unique combination of leading technology, teamwork, technical skills, and compassion brings high-quality care to our patients. 

The AMIGO Suite: Brain Mapping Precisely Guides Treatment

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is home to the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) Suite, which brings advanced imaging equipment into the operating room to offer patients the most precise and effective therapies for gliomas. AMIGO allows our neurosurgeons to directly visualize the tumor to safely remove tissue and it is occasionally useful for pituitary tumors. This resource, and our experience treating patients with image guided neurosurgery, is unmatched in New England. See how our advanced brain mapping paves the way for personalized, accurate surgery, in this video.

Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit

In the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, one of the largest such units in the country, critical care specialists are available 24/7. The medical team includes neuro-radiologists who analyze your imaging, neuro-pathologists who diagnose tumor type, and neuro-anesthesiologists who specialize in assisting your surgical treatment. This ICU is occasionally useful for the care of pituitary tumor patients.

Contact the Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center

The Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center is home to a team of neurosurgeons, endocrinologists, otorhinolaryngologists, neuro-ophthalmologists and other specialists – among them world leaders in the treatment of pituitary tumors. In additional to their exceptional technical skill, our neurosurgeons are known for their clear communication, compassion, ample time spent with patients, and personal care and attention.

We understand that confronting a pituitary tumor can be frightening for many patients and families; our guiding principle is to put the patient and family first. Your physicians are accessible to you throughout your care – before, during and after the treatment period.

Our team of neurosurgeons with deep expertise in treating Pituitary Tumors includes:

To schedule an appointment with a physician in the Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center, please contact our Patient Coordinator at: (617) 732-6600. We see new patients with a pituitary tumor diagnosis as soon as the next business day.

If you are a physician seeking to refer a patient to the Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Center, please call (617) 732-6600 or you can access our physicians’ office phone numbers. To contact one of our physicians with a question, patient referral or second opinion, you may also email: BWHNeurosurgery@partners.org.

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