Pituitary Tumor

Pituitary gland tumors are abnormal growths (adenomas) that develop in the pituitary gland.  The pituitary gland plays an important role in the body, regulating functions of the body through the production of hormones.  Pituitary tumors may cause the pituitary gland to produce either too low or too high levels of hormones.  In addition to altering hormone production the tumor may put pressure on the gland and surrounding structures.

Most pituitary tumors are benign (noncancerous) and do not spread to other parts of the body.  NeuroTexas neurosurgeons are trained to treat pituitary gland tumors using minimally invasive techniques (transphenoidal) if applicable.


Symptoms will vary depending on whether the tumor is placing pressure on the gland and surrounding structures or affecting hormone production.

Pressure related symptoms include

  • Headache
  • Vision loss

Hormone related symptoms include

  • High hormone levels: symptoms dependant on the hormone affected.
  • Low hormone levels: nausea, vomiting, weakness, changes in menstruation, sexual dysfunction, significant weight loss/gain, increase urine
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone secreting tumor (ACTH): high blood sugar, high blood pressure, exaggerated facial roundness, fat acculmulation around midsection and upper back, acne, thinning of arms and legs, bruising, bone weakness, mood changes
  • Growth Hormone secreting tumors: enlarged feet and hands, excess sweating, high blood sugar, increase body hair, changes in facial features
  • Prolactin secreting hormone tumor: decrease estrogen in women and decreased testosterone in men
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone secreting tumor: increase body metabolism leading to weight loss, irregular or rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, frequent bowel movements


Often pituitary tumors that are not causing symptoms no treatment is recommended and you will simply be closely monitored for any changes in your symptoms or in the size of the tumor.  Treatment will depend on the type, size and location of the tumor.  Our neurosurgeon will work closely with other medical professionals to plan the best treatment possible to meet your individual needs. Treatment may include one or a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and medications.


References: American Association of Neurological Surgeons, National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke.

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