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UPMC Pituitary Center of Excellence

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If you have a pituitary or skull base tumor or lesion, the UPMC Pituitary Center of Excellence provides world-class care.

Our surgeons use advanced techniques to remove tumors while preserving nearby tissue.

Experts at UPMC:

People travel from around the globe to see our renowned experts.

What Is a Pituitary Disorder?

The pituitary gland is a small gland in the brain. It makes hormones, including those involved in stress responses, metabolism, and reproduction.

Tumors, cysts, and other lesions can form in the pituitary gland.

Though most tumors in this gland aren't cancerous, they can affect hormone regulation, causing an array of symptoms. They can also put pressure on nearby areas of the brain.

Likewise, tumors in the lower part of the skull are also mainly non-cancerous. But, their growth can damage nerves and blood vessels in the brain.

Pituitary Disorders We Treat

UPMC is among the most skilled in the world in treating pituitary and skull base tumors and lesions, including:

Pituitary Surgery and Treatment

Our surgeons work closely with doctors from other specialties.

Imaging, genetic tests, and other advanced tests give us details on your brain condition.

Based on the type and location of your tumor or lesion, we design the best treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

EEA to remove pituitary and brain tumors

Pioneered at UPMC, EEA is an innovative surgical technique to remove brain and pituitary tumors through the nose. The surgeon uses an endoscope (a small, flexible tool with a camera) to target the tumor precisely.

Compared to open skull surgery, EEA offers:

  • Less scarring.
  • Fewer complications.
  • Faster healing.

Gamma Knife® radiosurgery to destroy pituitary and skull base tumors

Despite the word surgery in the name, this is a painless procedure that doesn't involve surgical removal. Instead, we use precisely targeted radiation beams to destroy tumors.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is especially useful when you are too high risk to have surgery.

Transorbital approach to remove tumors

The surgeon uses this technique to access and remove the tumor through the eye socket. Like EEA, this avoids the need to remove part of the skull.

This surgery is shorter than more invasive treatments and has a lower risk of complications.

"Keyhole" approach to treat skull base tumors

In some cases, surgeons can't access tumors through the nose or eye socket because of their size and location.

With this approach, the surgeon removes a small circle of the skull behind the ear.

This can help preserve hearing and eyesight when other treatments could put you at risk.

Our Pituitary Tumor Knowledge and Expertise

For more than 25 years, our pituitary and skull base tumor experts have taken on the most complex and challenging cases.

Using a one-stop approach, UPMC provides the full range of tests and treatments for pituitary and skull base tumors.

Our team follows you closely — from diagnosis through treatment and surgery to make sure you fully recover and that tumors don't recur.

Our team includes:

  • Endocrinologists who treat hormone-related conditions.
  • Ear, nose, and throat doctors.
  • Cancer doctors.
  • Neurosurgeons.
  • Brain, spinal cord, and nervous system disease experts.
  • Eye doctors.
  • Imaging doctors.
  • Radiation oncologists.
  • Anesthesiologists.

Contact UPMC About Your Pituitary Disorder

If you have questions about the UPMC Pituitary Center of Excellence or wish to book a consult, call 412-647-3685. You can also fill out our appointment request form.