Pituitary tumours are abnormal growths within the pituitary gland, a small gland located near the base of the brain. Pituitary tumours can be either functioning or non-functioning. Functioning tumours secrete pituitary hormones that can lead to a clinical syndrome, while non-functioning tumours are those that can cause a syndrome by not secreting pituitary hormones.
A schwannoma is the abnormal growth of Schwann cells, which line and insulate nerves. It is usually benign and rarely spreads to affect other tissues and organs, but malignant schwannomas that spread are called neurofibrosarcomas or malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs). The cancer can occur anywhere in the body but the most common areas include:
A cavernous malformation is a rare type of vascular condition characterised by clusters of tiny blood vessels or capillaries in the brain that is irregular and enlarged in structure. These capillaries can vary in size from 2 millimetres to 10 centimetres in diameter and have abnormally thin walls that lack other supportive tissues, like elastic fibres, which typically makes them stretchy. As a result, the capillaries are susceptible to leakage, which can trigger serious health issues related to this condition.
A brain aneurysm is the ballooning of a weak area on the wall of an artery in the brain. An aneurysm can leak or rupture causing blood to escape into the brain. This is an emergency condition as the blood can damage brain tissue and increase pressure inside the skull, disrupting oxygen supply to the brain, which can lead to unconsciousness or even death. Brain aneurysms usually develop in the arteries at the base of the brain, at weak points where the arteries branch off or fork. They are more common in women than in men. Substance abuse, head injury, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels), high blood pressure, ageing, certain congenital diseases, and positive family history increase your risk of developing a brain aneurysm.
Minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery is a surgical procedure for the treatment of brain tumours and certain spine disorders such as herniated discs and compression fractures. It is performed through tiny incisions with the help of an endoscope, a flexible tube that contains a light source and tiny camera to capture detailed images of the internal tissues and blood vessels. This helps your neurosurgeon perform the surgery with accuracy.
An endoscopic pituitary/extended transsphenoidal tumour resection is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which an endoscope, a thin tubular instrument with a camera, light, and a magnifying lens attached at the end, and special instruments are passed through the nose to surgically remove pituitary tumours from the pituitary gland and skull base. Transsphenoidal refers to approaching the treatment area through the sphenoid sinus - a hollow area in the skull behind the nasal passages and beneath the brain. The wall behind the sinus covers the pituitary gland.