Aug. 26, 2016
Kimmie Rollison is an eminent Health consultant. She also writes for the Health columns for Travcure medical tourism and various regional and international online media and blogs. Follow her on twitter @kimmierollison
The main treatment available for Pituitary Tumor is a surgery. How successful the surgery goes totally depends on upon the type of tumor, its exact location, its size and to other nearby structures.
Transsphenoidal surgery: This surgery is done through the sphenoid sinus, a hollow space in the skull behind the nasal passages and below the brain. The back wall of the sinus covers the pituitary gland.
The approach towards Transsphenoidal surgery has many advantages. None of the parts of the brain is touched during the first surgery as it lowers the chances of brain damages. No visible scars too. If the tumor is small, cure rates are high whereas for large tumors cure rates are lower.
Craniotomy: For complicated pituitary tumor, a craniotomy might be needed. In this surgery, the surgeon operates through an opening in front and side of the skull. A surgeon has to work very carefully in this surgery as the chances of brain injury are high in craniotomy compared to Transsphenoidal surgery.
For both these surgeries, the doctor might use MRI or CT scans for image guidance before surgery as it helps to plan a better surgical approach. Still, many doctors consider this to be experimental.
What to Expect after Pituitary Tumor Surgery?
After the treatment for Pituitary Tumor, the tumor is either removed or destroyed. On the completion of treatment, the patient feels stressful and finds it exciting as well. You'll be relieved to finish the treatment, but at the same time worried, thinking about the tumor coming back or growing. If ever the tumor grows again after the treatment, it's called recurrence. This is very common in people who have been a victim of pituitary tumor.
It takes some time to become fearless. At the same time, you get to know that the pituitary tumor survivors have learned to live their lives with this uncertainty and are living their life to the fullest.
For some people, the tumor would never leave them completely. Some people will continue with their medicines or other treatments to keep a regular check of the tumor. It is actually difficult as well as stressful for a person who has to live with a tumor that doesn't go away.
Recovery Stage for Pituitary Tumor
The recovery stage for Pituitary Tumor surgery takes place in two separate phases:
- Recovery in the hospital
- Recovery at home
Recovery in the Hospital: In the first hours of surgery and the day after it, the nurse will look after the patient to observe any changes in vision; how much urine is produced and fluids are taken in; any discharge from the nose (if any). Patients will be asked to maintain an accurate accord of the amount of urine they void and fluids they drink.
After the patient is recovered from anesthesia, he/she is encouraged to stay active. These things are usually regular in stages. The patients are provided with a device called incentive spirometer. The device helps in clearing the lungs and prevent pneumonia. At the time of operation, till the patient is put out of bed their legs will be wrapped with sequential compression boots as it helps in preventing blood clots.
After surgery, the patient can start with their regular medicines. Usually, patients will be given a steroid hormone called hydrocortisone (Cortef). If he/she lacks this hormone, the patient will get weaned out of steroid during the week after surgery.
Recovery at home: Majority patients hardly stay in the hospital for one or two days after surgery. Intake of fluids is important for patients who feel thirsty. If their intake of fluids is less then it won't prevent or control diabetes and may lead to dehydration. Patients are told to monitor their urine for few days after they're discharged from the hospital.
Once you're home after surgery, the patients are advised not to lift anything heavier than 10-15 pounds for a month. Also, try to avoid straining.