Pituitary Disorders

If you are seeking more information about disorders of the pituitary gland, then I would very strongly recommend visiting The Pituitary Foundation website

This charitable organisation provides valuable information and support for patients, their carers and GPs.

Why have you been referred to a Surgeon?

Most patients who have been referred to a surgeon with a pituitary tumour have already been seen by an endocrinologist, occasionally you may have been referred directly from your opthalmologist or neurologist

Just because you are seeing a surgeon does not mean you are going to have an operation, often I see patients to discuss all of the options available for treatment

If you haven’t seen an endocrinologist before seeing me then I will arrange for you to see Professor John Wass at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford

Why do I need an operation?

Surgery is only considered if there is no effective medical treatment for your pituitary disorder, or if you have the best chance of a long-term ‘cure’ with an operation

There are 3 main reasons why the best option for treatment for you might be surgery

  1. The pituitary tumour is compressing your optic nerves (to the eyes) and impairing your vision
  2. The pituitary tumour is small but is producing hormones causing Cushing’s disease, Acromegaly, or infertility (prolactinoma)
  3. We are unsure exactly what the pituitary abnormality is, and thus a biopsy is needed

Do I Have Cancer ?

The answer to this question is almost always no.

Tumours of the pituitary gland are almost always benign, this means that they are not cancerous and cannot spread to other parts of the body

Why are so many doctors Involved in my care?

Firstly due to the nature of pituitary disorders you may have seen number of doctors before a diagnosis was reached.

In order to provide the best service we can, the whole approach in Oxford is based upon teamwork. An endocrinologist will investigate your pituitary function before and after surgery, a neuroradiologist will perform the complex scans of the pituitary gland, I will see you in outpatients before your operation and whilst you are admitted, an oncologist may become involved if you need some postoperative radiotherapy and your GP will co-ordinate your care once you are discharged home.

All of the team involved in your care meet on a regular basis and we will decide together the best way of treating your problem.

What Next?

If you want more information about a particular pituitary problem, or some of the investigations you may have then I suggest you visit the Pituitary Foundation

The menu above will allow you to get more details about the type of surgery that I perform and some information on the differing pituitary tumours types