How can a pituitary tumor be treated

What is the treatment for a Pituitary Tumour?

What is the treatment for a Pituitary Tumour?

Treatment for a pituitary tumor varies depending on its type, size, and extent of growth within the brain, as well as the individual’s age and overall health. These tumors can cause significant issues by exerting pressure on the brain, necessitating intervention. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment.

A multidisciplinary medical team, typically comprising a neurosurgeon, endocrinologist, and neurologist, collaborates on the treatment plan. Surgery, radiation therapy, and medications may be employed alone or in combination to address pituitary tumors and restore hormone levels to normalcy.


Surgery may be necessary to remove the pituitary gland if the tumor is pressing on the optic nerves, which can lead to vision loss, or if the tumor is overproducing certain hormones. The success of surgery depends on factors such as tumor type, location, size, and invasion into surrounding tissues.

There are two main surgical techniques for treating pituitary tumors:

1. Endoscopic Transnasal Transsphenoidal Approach: This approach involves reaching and removing the tumor through the nose and sinuses without external incisions, resulting in no visible scars and minimal impact on surrounding brain tissue. However, large tumors may be challenging to remove, especially if they have invaded nearby nerves or brain tissue.

2. Transcranial Approach (Craniotomy): In this procedure, the tumor is removed through an incision in the scalp and upper part of the skull. This approach is beneficial for larger and more complicated tumors.

Radiation therapy may also be used to destroy tumors, either after surgery or as a primary treatment when surgery is not feasible. There are two main methods of radiation therapy:

1. External Beam Radiation: This method delivers radiation in small increments over several weeks, often on an outpatient basis. While effective, it may take several years to fully control tumor growth and hormone production, and there is a risk of damage to normal pituitary cells.

2. Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery: This technique precisely focuses radiation beams on the tumor without incisions. Special brain-imaging techniques guide the delivery of radiation beams, minimizing exposure to healthy surrounding tissue and reducing the risk of damage.


External factors do not appear to influence the development of pituitary tumors, so there is currently no known method for preventing these tumors. However, for individuals at high risk of pituitary tumors, early detection and treatment may be possible to prevent complications.

Expected Duration

In many instances, a pituitary tumor will persistently grow until addressed with treatment. However, there are occasions, particularly with prolactin-secreting tumors, where the tumor may stabilize or even show improvement without the need for treatment.