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Florida’s Home for Pituitary Tumor Expertise

If you've been diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, you don’t have to go far for the best care. As Florida’s only pituitary tumor Center of Excellence, our teams take a multidisciplinary approach to comprehensive care and uphold the highest standards of excellence for pituitary tumor treatment.

Dedicated to the Highest Standards of Care

At the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute, we take a collaborative approach to your care at each step, from your initial consultation up to endoscopic endonasal skull-base surgery — a minimally invasive procedure our ENT specialists and neurosurgeons perform together for your faster recovery. 

Florida’s Only Center of Excellence for Pituitary Tumor Treatment

You can expect unparalleled care from our team. Our Center of Excellence designation means that we: 

  • Offer comprehensive and multidisciplinary care to evaluate and treat pituitary tumors (and other neuroendocrine disorders)
  • Treat a large volume of pituitary tumor patients each year
  • Provide local, national and international training and continuing education for physicians treating pituitary and neuroendocrine diseases 
  • Frequently conduct basic and translational research on pituitary disorders to offer the latest treatment options for patients

When you’re ready to get started with treatment, our Care Coordinators are here to help guide you every step of the way. 

Call Your Care Coordinator

What to Know About Pituitary Tumors

Pituitary tumors begin in the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland helps controls other endocrine glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries and testes.

Pituitary tumors, also called adenomas, are usually benign (non-cancerous). While these tumors don’t spread beyond the pituitary gland, they can still impact the function of the pituitary gland and other endocrine systems in your body. 

Pituitary tumor symptoms can vary widely depending on the size of the tumor and how the growth is impacting your hormones. Sometimes, you may not experience any noticeable symptoms at all. 

Adrenocorticotropic Hormone-Secreting (ACTH) Tumors

One type of pituitary tumor called adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting (ACTH) tumors can cause Cushing’s disease. Symptoms of Cushing’s disease include:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Bruising
  • Depression
  • Facial roundness
  • Fat around the stomach or back
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Irritability
  • Stretch marks
  • Thinning arms or legs 
  • Weak bones

Growth Hormone-Secreting Tumors

Pituitary tumors that produce excessive acromegaly (a growth hormone) have unique signs and symptoms like:

  • Body hair growth
  • Coarse facial features
  • Enlarged hands and feet
  • Excessive sweating
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Joint pain
  • Misaligned teeth

Large Pituitary Tumors

Large pituitary tumors, sometimes called macroadenomas, can put pressure on the pituitary gland and other structures. This pressure can cause symptoms such as headache and vision loss. They can also cause hormonal deficiencies. Signs and symptoms of a deficiency include:

  • Feeling cold
  • Frequent urination
  • Infrequent, or stopped, menstrual periods 
  • Nausea 
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unintended weight loss or gain
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Prolactin-Secreting Hormones

Prolactinoma causes estrogen and testosterone levels to decrease. 

For women, a pituitary tumor that’s causing an overproduction of prolactin may cause:

  • Discharge from the breast
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Lack of periods

Men experience different symptoms caused by prolactinoma, such as:

  • Breast growth
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Lowered sperm count

Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone-Secreting Tumors

A pituitary tumor can cause the thyroid to produce too much thyroxine. This effect can increase your body’s metabolism and cause symptoms such as:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Weight loss

Unfortunately, the causes of pituitary tumors aren’t quite clear. Because they do not have lifestyle-related or environmental risk factors, these tumors aren’t preventable. Some pituitary tumors stem from genetic conditions, both inherited conditions and non-hereditary ones. 

But, regardless of causes, you and your family aren’t alone in this diagnosis. Your health care team is here to surround you with support, empowering you with answers and explaining your treatment options every step of the way.

Pituitary Tumor Risk Factors
Unlike some other tumors, pituitary tumors have very few known risk factors, and they aren’t usually caused by lifestyle or environmental factors. Instead of being caused by factors like family history or obesity, pituitary tumors can result from a genetic syndrome that can cause abnormal growths. 

Some of these syndromes may include:

  • Carney complex, a rare syndrome that may cause pituitary tumors
  • McCune-Albright syndrome, which develops in the womb
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia, types I and IV, conditions which increase the risk of developing tumors in glands like the pituitary gland

Whether you are facing one of these genetic conditions or not, our team will work to help you understand your treatment options and the path to healing.

Based on your symptoms and medical history, several tests can help determine if you have a pituitary tumor. The results of these tests can help your neurologist make a pituitary tumor diagnosis: 

  • Blood and urine tests to check hormone levels
  • Imaging tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to determine the size and location of a tumor
  • Vision test to check your eyesight

Sometimes, a pituitary tumor doesn’t need to be treated. Instead, your doctor will closely monitor you for signs that it’s growing or impacting other areas of your brain. 

If you do require treatment, take comfort in knowing there are many successful approaches to help you feel better. 

Surgery

Your doctor may recommend surgery if the tumor is pressing on your optic nerve and impacting your vision. Depending on the size and location of your pituitary tumor, surgery may include craniotomy and endoscopic transnasal surgery. We also offer endoscopic endonasal skull-base surgery, a minimally invasive surgical technique. Your doctor will discuss which approach is right for you. 

Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery

Despite its name, Gamma Knife is not a surgical procedure. It targets and treats tumors with precision to minimize damage to healthy tissue.

Learn More About Gamma Knife

Medication

Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help regulate hormone production. Some medications can help shrink the tumor. You’ll work closely with your entire care team to learn which medication is best for you.

Radiation

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to target and eliminate tumor cells. There are several different types of radiation, including:

  • External radiation therapy
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Proton beam therapy

Learn More About Radiation Therapy

At the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute, we specialize in endoscopic endonasal skull-base surgery, which is a minimally invasive surgical technique performed through the nose to remove brain tumors, pituitary tumors and other lesions at the base of the skull. 

An endoscopic camera — along with surgical equipment — is inserted through the nose, allowing the surgeon to navigate to and remove the tumor without any large incisions. This procedure often takes less than four hours to complete, and patients typically go home in one to three days. 

Patients who have this procedure usually have a shorter period under anesthesia, improved outcomes, faster recovery, less pain and no scars, compared to traditional open brain surgery. 

 

 

Meet Your Care Team

Melvin Field, MD
Medical Director, Neurosurgeon
Ravi H. Gandhi, MD
Medical Director, Neurosurgeon
Armon Jadidian, MD
Otolaryngologist
Brian C. Spector, MD
Otolaryngologist
Damon Tanton, MD
Endocrinologist, Diabetes and Metabolism
Caroline Hunter, BSN, RN, SCRN
Nurse Navigator
Doctor Fields looking at an x-ray

A Caring Guide for Your Journey

Your compassionate and knowledgeable Care Coordinator is your advocate at every step. They’re available to help answer questions, schedule appointments, thoroughly explain every pituitary tumor treatment option and put you in touch with the right specialists. They'll be with you every step of the way, so you never have to wonder what's next.

Call Your Care Coordinator