1331 N 7th St #405 Phoenix, AZ 85006
Phone: (602) 254-3151

Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Specialist

Pituitary Tumor Specialist

What symptoms do pituitary tumors create?

Some pituitary tumors create no symptoms at all. In other cases, functioning tumors that produce hormones may cause issues by over- or under-producing hormones, and the symptoms created depend on which systems are controlled by these hormones. Non-functioning tumors affect you only when they grow to sufficient size to put pressure on surrounding structures near the pituitary gland.

If the pituitary tumor grows to a size where it puts pressure on surrounding nerve tissue, headaches may occur, along with eyesight problems, particularly the loss of peripheral vision. Functioning tumors that overproduce create symptoms or combinations of symptoms related to too much of whichever hormone is affected, creating conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or accelerated growth. When these tumors underproduce, hormone deficiencies usually create symptoms such as:

  • Feeling chilly or cold
  • Increased amounts of urine
  • Menstrual periods that become infrequent or stop
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unexpected weight gain or loss
  • General body weakness

How are pituitary tumors diagnosed?

Frequently, the symptoms created by these tumors resemble those produced by other disorders, so often, pituitary tumors are overlooked. Sometimes, they’re found while your doctor is investigating other health issues.

Your neurologic caregiver at Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists typically starts with a physical exam and medical history. In addition, brain imaging through CT or MRI scans locate and size the tumor. Blood tests determine your body’s hormone levels, and a vision test may indicate if the tumor affects your eyesight.

What treatment options can I expect?

In some cases, treatment may not be necessary. When the tumor causes problems through overproduction of hormones or pressure on the optic nerve, medication, radiation, and surgery are the typical treatments, either alone or in combination.

If surgery becomes necessary, there are two general surgical approaches, using an endoscope through the nose, or via a craniotomy through the skull. The neurosurgeons of Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists are experts in all aspects of both approaches, as well as fully up-to-date in minimally invasive surgical techniques. Minimally invasive techniques cause you less pain with shorter periods of recovery, with greatly lowered risks of complications resulting from surgery.

Though most pituitary tumors are benign and don’t metastasize beyond the gland itself, these tumors can upset the balance of hormones in your body. Since the gland is located at the base of the brain, behind the sinuses and near the optic nerve, you want an experienced doctor should surgery become necessary.

The physicians of Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists, located in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona weigh all the factors surrounding your tumor, with the expertise to treat it successfully.

Your pituitary gland is found just under your brain. This pea-sized gland makes hormones that affect many of your body's functions. A pituitary tumor can cause it to release too much or too little of these hormones. This can cause serious problems.
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