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      The Endoscopic versus the Traditional Approach in Pituitary Surgery

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          Abstract

          The transsphenoidal route is the most widely used technique for pituitary adenoma surgery due to its rapidity, good tolerance, effectiveness and low complication rate. These are the parameters we utilized in comparing endoscopic with microscopic transsphenoidal surgery. We reviewed the medical records of 418 patients affected by pituitary adenomas who underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery between May 1998 and December 2004, and in this paper, we present the results of 381 patients who fulfilled the follow-up criteria after a minimum period of 15 months. Our experience confirms the previous data on the rapidity and satisfactory tolerance of the endoscopic procedure. We also confirm the low complication rate, specifying that complications characteristic of the approaching phase were certainly reduced; instead, complications characteristic of tumor removal still remained similar to those reported in the microsurgical literature. The results were comparable with those of the best microsurgical series regarding endosellar lesions, but tumor removal was notably superior when dealing with tumors having an extrasellar extension. The improvement may be explained by the excellent vision of the deep surgical fields due to the endoscope and by the extreme flexibility of the surgical trajectory, mainly due to the absence of the divaricator, giving access to the ramifications of the tumor, otherwise difficult to reach.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Criteria for Cure of Acromegaly: A Consensus Statement 

           A Giustina (2000)
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            Endonasal transsphenoidal approach for pituitary adenomas and other sellar lesions: an assessment of efficacy, safety, and patient impressions.

            The direct endonasal approach performed with the aid of an operating microscope for removal of pituitary tumors has the potential advantage over the traditional sublabial route of minimizing postoperative rhinological complications, yet maintaining a high degree of efficacy and safety. To assess the effectiveness of this procedure, tumor remission rates and surgical complications were documented, and patients' postoperative complaints were recorded using a questionnaire. One hundred consecutive patients underwent 109 endonasal operations for tumor removal. At a median follow-up period of 16 months (range 3-45 months), surgical remission rates were as follows: in 40 patients with endocrine-inactive macroadenomas, 95% for noninvasive and 40% for invasive tumors; in the 20 patients with prolactinomas, 75% for prolactinomas with an initial prolactin (PRL) level lower than 200 ng/ml, 33% for those with a PRL level between 200 and 600 ng/ml, and 0% for those with a PRL level higher than 1400 ng/ml; in the 15 patients with Cushing disease, 73% for microadenomas and 25% for macroadenomas; in the 10 patients with acromegaly, 75% for microadenomas and 50% for macroadenomas; in the five patients with Rathke cleft cysts, 80%; and in the five patients with craniopharyngiomas, 40%. There were seven major surgical complications and no operative deaths. Among the 78 patients who completed questionnaires (response rate 89%), the most common complaints concerned nasal packing (39%), removal of packing (36%), and mouth breathing (35%). At 3 months or longer after surgery, patients quantified sinonasal problems as follows: for facial pain, no problem in 83% and severe difficulty in 4%; for nasal congestion, no problem in 74%, and severe difficulty in 3%; for decreased nasal airflow, no problem in 77% and severe difficulty in 4%; for decreased sense of smell, no problem in 73% and severe difficulty in 4%; and for upper-lip numbness, no problem in 87% and severe difficulty in 1%. Twelve (86%) of 14 patients who had undergone sublabial surgery previously preferred the endonasal approach in terms of pain and ease of recovery. The direct endonasal route for pituitary tumor removal has efficacy and complication rates comparable to those of the sublabial route. Patients generally recover rapidly from this minimally invasive procedure and have no or minimal sinonasal complaints. For patients requiring a repeated operation, the endonasal route appears to be less painful and easier to recover from than the sublabial route. Given the minimal nasal mucosal dissection required and the frequent patient complaints related to nasal packing, use of packing is no longer used for this procedure.
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              Complications in a contemporary series of patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery for Cushing's disease.

               E. Laws,  P F Semple (1999)
              Transsphenoidal surgery is the usual treatment of choice for adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas associated with Cushing's disease. In this paper the authors investigate the complications of transsphenoidal surgery in the treatment of a contemporary series of patients with Cushing's disease. Between January 1992 and December 1997, 105 patients with Cushing's disease underwent transsphenoidal surgery at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center. A retrospective analysis of the complications was conducted, and the mortality rate was found to be 0.9% and permanent morbidity was 1.8%. The overall number of complications was 14 (13.3%), which included seven complications directly related to surgery; one instance of permanent diabetes insipidus; one syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone; and five medical complications (four patients developed deep vein thrombosis and one developed pneumonia). Transsphenoidal surgery for Cushing's disease has a higher complication rate than that for pituitary adenomas in general. This is primarily related to a greater number of medical complications, most notably deep vein thrombosis, resulting from the generally debilitated state of most patients with Cushing's disease. In view of the high incidence of deep vein thrombosis in these patients, prophylaxis for thromboembolism during the perioperative period is recommended.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                978-3-8055-8198-1
                978-3-318-01414-3
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2006
                October 2006
                16 October 2006
                : 83
                : 3-4
                : 240-248
                Affiliations
                Center of Surgery for Pituitary Tumors, Department of Neuroscience, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy
                Article
                95534 Neuroendocrinology 2006;83:240–248
                10.1159/000095534
                17047389
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 7, References: 30, Pages: 9
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