Mr. Nijaguna Mathad

Consultant Neurosurgeon


Pituitary Foundation Booklet on Pituitary Surgery & Radiotherapy

Pituitary Tumours: Treatment


Prolactinoma (Prolactin secreting pituitary tumour) is the only tumour which can be treated medications in the first instance. It can be diagnosed with simple blood test called 'serum proalctin levels'. Hence it is imperative to have blood tests done before any other form of treatment is considered. Although main treatment is medical, surgery is sometimes required.


All other tumours are treated by

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Medical Treatment


Surgery for Pituitary tumours:

  • Endscopic trans-sphenoidal pituitary operation- Procedure to remove the pituitary tumour through the sphenoid sinus using endoscopes through nostrils.
  • Craniotomy - Porcedure to remove the pituitary tumour by making an opening in skull. This route is needed when the tumour has extended into the cranial cavity. Often tumour removal is done via a small incision through the eye brow (supraorbital craniotomy).



  • Use of radiotherapy does not mean that the tumour is cancerous.
  • Usually offered after the initial operation for inaccessible residual tumours
  • Rarely it can be recomended as an alternative to surgery


Medical treatment:

  • Primary modality for prolactinomas
  • Replacement therapy before and /or after surgery - to replace pituitary hormones
  • Medical treatment for Cushings and Acromegaly - in preperation for surgery
  • Medical treatment for Cushings and Acromegaly - for residual disease after surgery



As per the recommendations of NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), all patients with pituitary tumour and craniopharyngioma are discussed in MDT to recommend best treatment. Pituitary MDT meeting takes place once a month where pituitary surgeons, endocrinologists, neuropathologists, oncologists and neuroradiologists plan optimal treatment. In clinically urgent cases, this discussion will take place after the necessary surgery.



NHS Secretary: 

Satnam K Taak

Phone: 02381206694

Wessex Neurological Centre

Southampton General Hospital

Southampton SO16 6YD


Private Secretary:

Charlotte Feist

Phone: 023 8076 4357

Fax: 023 8076 4358

Spire Southampton Hospital

Chalybeate Close

Southampton SO16 6UY

charlottefeist@nhs.net Please note that Charlotte will not deal with any NHS matters