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If your doctor recommended surgery to treat your pituitary condition, you may be wondering what to expect during the procedure. Our neurosurgeons are trained in using the latest minimally invasive procedures. Our goal is to perform the most effective surgery while minimizing discomfort, your hospital stay and the recovery period.
Endoscopic Surgery for Pituitary Tumors
An endoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove pituitary tumors. An endoscope is thin, flexible lighted tube with a camera at the end. It provides your surgeon with a high-resolution, magnified view of the operating area. Your doctor uses specially designed microsurgical instruments along with the endoscope to dissect and remove tumors.
Pituitary endoscopic surgery is called an expanded endonasal approach (EEA) and benefits include:
- The ability to see and remove tumors in otherwise difficult to reach areas.
- The detailed, high-resolution view of the operating field.
- Your neurosurgeon's ability to perform precise movements using the microsurgical instrument
Your doctor inserts the endoscope and instruments through your nose, eliminating the need for a facial incision. There is no visible scar and fewer side effects. You are often able to go home the day after surgery.
Expanded Endonasal Approach: What to Expect
Your surgical team includes an endoscopic sinus (head and neck) surgeon and a neurosurgeon. This surgery requires intense preparation and collaboration among your team. The UCLA Pituitary Tumor Program is one of the few programs in the country using this unique, collaborate approach.
During the surgery:
- We will place you under anesthesia; you will be asleep for the entire procedure.
- Your surgical team will insert the instruments through your nose and nasal sinuses.
- We remove the tumor.
- The instruments are removed.
Sometimes, your doctor may feel that the endoscopic approach is not the best for you. In some cases, another minimally invasive technique may be a better option. Our neurosurgeons have extensive experience in performing all types of surgery, including the minimally invasive "keyhole surgery," which uses the eyebrows to hide the incision.
Brain Tumor Treatments
- UCLA Intraoperative MRI Suite
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in the world to install a dedicated operating room housing a powerful, 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
- Minimally-Invasive Surgery
UCLA neurosurgeons use minimally and non-invasive treatments whenever these techniques can achieve comparable or better results compared to standard open surgical procedures.
- Novalis Radiosurgery
The precision of Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery stereotactic surgery system allows UCLA neurosurgeons to deliver highly focal radiation to a tumor with minimal or no damage to vital areas of the surrounding brain.
- Advanced Imaging & Brain Mapping
Standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) imaging are important tools for diagnosing brain tumors. These routine scans, however, do not tell us about the function of the brain surrounding the tumor. Sometimes we may desire more information about the tumor itself, such as its boundaries or whether it is actively dividing.
- Awake Craniotomy
When a tumor is near critical speech areas of the brain, it may be important to determine the exact location of these speech-related areas
To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians at the Pituitary Tumor Program, please call (310) 825 5111.