A Transsphenoidal Hypophysectomy is a surgical method that is commonly used for the removal of pituitary tumors. This surgical approach allows for a greater exposure of the vital structures which allows for greater accuracy.
Using the sublabial approach, the surgeon through an incision under the upper lip, elevates the lining of the nasal cavity and advances speculum retractors to the sphenoid sinus through the nasal passages. After entering the sella turcica (the area where the pituitary sits in the brain), the tumor is gently removed in the attempt to preserve normal pituitary tissue. A “packing” in inserted in the sphenoid sinus (nasal cavity) with fat harvested from the abdomen and nasal tubes are inserted to assist with nasal breathing. Transsphenoidal hypophysectomy is a well-tolerated surgical procedure, including by older patients who may not be candidates for other treatments. The key benefit is that it does not require craniotomy, which increases patients’ potential risks and hospital stays and recovery times.
The surgery takes about 1-2 hours.
It may take several weeks to fully recover as patients tend to tire easily. The post-operative care should involve lots of rest and avoiding strenuous activity. The nasal fat packing can be removed by the surgeon in 2-3 days.