Pituitary adenomas are a type of tumour that are noncancerous and occur in the pituitary gland. These types of noncancerous tumours are generally divided into three categories on the basis of their biological functioning - benign adenoma, invasive adenoma or carcinomas, with carcinomas accounting for 0.1% to 0.2%, approximately 35% being invasive adenomas and most being benign adenomas. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized, reddish-grey gland, located in the centre of the brain, just above the back of the nose.
Signs and Symptoms
Hormone secreting pituitary adenomas can cause one of different types of hyperpituitarism. Symptoms may vary on the basis of tumour's size, its location, and whether it's secreting or not.
- Overproduction of hormones – As these hormones are responsible for milk production in women, extremely high level can cause milk production in both men and women who are not pregnant. Another sign is menstrual irregularity.
- Underproduction of hormones – It is studied that some 75% of pituitary tumour don't produce hormones. This condition can lead to a damaged gland tissue. This can cause irregularity or loss of menstruation in women and sterility with loss of sex drive in men and women.
- Growth disorders – These disorders cause excessive growth in children. In case of adults, they can lead to acromegaly, or abnormal growth of the face bones, enlarged hands and feet, excessive sweating and heart disease.
- If the tumour is present on the optic nerves, disturbances in vision will occur.
The cause of this uncontrolled cell growth in the pituitary gland and resulting into a tumour remains unknown.
With the advances in medical technology such as endoscope, surgical microscope and image guided systems, doctors and surgeons can now perform highly sophisticated surgeries that were not possible few years back. At Max Department of Endocrinology & Diabetes, doctors perform state-of-the-art minimally invasive pituitary surgery that allows for precise removal of tumours, in or around the pituitary gland. This surgery also ensures faster recovery, no scarring and fewer complications. This surgery is done for the following:
- to remove hormone-producing tissue (typically in Acromegaly or Cushing's disease)
- to reduce the volume of a tumour that is compressing the optic chiasm or other structures
- to reduce the volume of or to remove non hormone-producing tissue that is likely to threaten surrounding structures in the future, for example, in a relatively young patient, in whom continued growth of the tumour is suspected or has been proven by sequential scans