The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain behind the nose and is about the size of a pea. It makes many different hormones which send signals to other organs or glands in the body. If there is a problem with the pituitary gland, it can affect the body in many ways, including metabolism, bone health, growth, sex hormones, and more. The most common pituitary disorder is a tumor. Pituitary gland tumors can cause many different problems, but doctors in Columbus neurosurgery can successfully treat these tumors.
Pituitary gland tumors are relatively common in adults, and they are almost always benign. Symptoms of a tumor can vary because of the effect too much or little hormones can have in the body. Pressure from the tumor may cause a headache or vision problems. If the tumor is causing low hormones, a person may experience dizziness, dry skin, fatigue, sexual problems in men, and irregular periods in women. If certain hormones are affected, non-pregnant women may produce breast milk. Men may experience breast enlargement. The symptoms also vary from person to person.
Although symptoms can vary widely, fortunately, a tumor is fairly easy to diagnose. The doctor will evaluate the symptoms and have blood work done as well as urine tests to measure hormone levels. An MRI will be performed in order to see the pituitary gland and surrounding areas. After the tumor is found, further blood tests can determine what type of tumor it is. The vision will also be tested to determine any impairment. An endocrinologist may need to perform further tests.
Medical professionals in Columbus neurosurgery will determine the treatment for the tumor depending on its size as well as age and overall health of the patient. Some tumors may be treated with medication to balance hormone levels and possibly shrink the tumor. This treatment will include watching the tumor over time. If surgery is necessary, the doctor may remove the tumor endoscopically through the sinuses if it is small, or through the upper part of the skull for a larger tumor. Radiation may be used as the primary treatment or after surgery.
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