Pituitary surgery

The Pituitary service at The Walton Centre provides multidisciplinary evaluation and management of patients with disorders of the pituitary and hypothalamus. These glands play an important role within the endocrine system and are adjacent to important structures, in particular the optic apparatus. Investigation and management of pathology in this area therefore involves a number of different disciplines including endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists and specialist nurses.   Specialists from each of these areas attend our monthly pituitary multi-disciplinary meeting (MDT) where patients are discussed. Patients are seen in joint pituitary clinics by a neurosurgeon and endocrinologist. The conditions that affect this area are most commonly pituitary adenomas, but also include craniopharyngiomas, meningiomas, cysts and inflammatory conditions.

 

Management

Many of these tumours are benign, slow growing and readily diagnosed on imaging, therefore their management depends on the size, symptoms, tumour behaviour (ie is it growing or is it functioning ie. producing too much of a particular pituitary hormone) and the age and fitness of the patient. 

 

Surgery

Surgery is indicated for particular functioning tumours eg those producing too much growth hormone (acromegaly) or cortisol (Cushing’s disease) or when the tumour threatens the vision.  The most common approach is through the nose (transsphenoidal), using a microscope or endoscope for visualisation.  We routinely use the endoscopic technique and often operate with our ENT colleagues.

 For more information about pituitary surgery, see the Pituitary Foundation leaflet.

 

Radiotherapy

Fractionated radiotherapy or stereotactic radiosurgery is recommended for some tumours, most commonly post-operatively. Stereotactic radiosurgery is provided on site at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool where there is a Novalis TX machine.

 

Support for patients with pituitary tumours

The Pituitary Foundation is an excellent source of information and support for patients with pituitary tumours.

Liverpool area contact: Steve Ainsworth
Tel. 01706 849148

 

The Pituitary Team

Neurosurgeons:
Miss C Gilkes
Mr A Sinha

Neuroendocrinologists:

Dr C Daousi, Aintree University Hospital
Prof J Vora, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals

Neuro-ophthalmologist:
Ms C Noonan, Aintree University Hospital

Endocrinology Specialist Nurses:

University Hospital Aintree: 
Christopher Morgan
Email: Christopher.Morgan@aintree.nhs.uk

Royal Liverpool Hospital:
Pauline Whittingham
Pamela Corlett
Amanda Hamilton
Email: rlb-tr.EndocrineNurses@nhs.net

Oncologists:
Dr DHusband
Dr A Shenoy

Neuropathologists:
Dr A Baborie

Neuroradiologists:
Dr M Bhojak
Dr K Das

Neuropsychology

Dr Selina Makin

AHPS

Emma Wilby

 

Documents

Pituitary Pathways/Guidlines