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Neuroendocrine Surgical Service

The Neuroendocrine Surgical Service at Massachusetts General Hospital evaluates, treats and manages care for patients with pituitary and hypothalamic tumors and other complex disorders. Treatment for adenomas sometimes includes transsphenoidal surgery.

Staff in this program

Treatment for Pituitary Tumors and Other Neuroendocrine Disorders

Part of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Neuroendocrine Clinical Center, the Neuroendocrine Surgical Service treats patients with disorders affecting the endocrine function of the pituitary gland, including:

  • Cushing's disease: pituitary tumors which secrete ACTH, causing excess cortisol production by the adrenal glands.
  • Acromegaly: pituitary tumors which secrete excess growth hormone, causing acromegaly
  • Nonfunctioning pituitary tumors: non-functioning tumors which cause symptoms by compressing the normal pituitary gland and the optic nerves and chasm, affecting normal hormone function and peripheral vision
  • Prolactinomas: tumors which secrete prolactin, leading to amenorrhea-galactorrhea (loss of menstrual period/abnormal milk secretion). Most, but not all, prolactinomas, can be treated without surgery.
  • Pituitary cysts: may require surgery if they are causing headaches, visual problems, or pituitary dysfunction.
  • Other pituitary tumors: such as TSH adenomas and craniopharyngiomas

In addition to the surgical treatment of the these tumors, the Neuroendrocrine Surgical Service works in conjunction with highly-trained Mass General endocrinologists who manage the following disorders:

  • Pituitary tumors: Prolactinomas, Cushing's disease, acromegaly, non-functioning tumors, recurrent pituitary adenomas
  • Cushing's disease and syndrome: Pituitary Cushing's disease, ectopic Cushing's syndrome, adrenal Cushing's syndrome, iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome, recurrent Cushing's disease
  • Posterior pituitary dysfunction: Diabetes insipidus, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)
  • Hormone dependent neurologic disorders: seizures, headaches
  • Hypothalamic syndromes

Patient elvaluation includes comprehensive office visits, complete hormone testing and imaging studies.

An Integrated Team of Experienced Specialists

Our program brings together a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons and neuroendocrine specialists who provide innovative, individually tailored treatments to each patient.

  • Neuroendocrinologists are skilled in the diagnostic evaluation of these complex disorders, administer replacement hormones and are experts in the medical management of pituitary tumors
  • Radiation oncologists help plan and administer any necessary pituitary radiation therapy
  • Neurologists treat headaches, seizures and hypothalamic syndromes
  • Clinical nurses provide patient education, including teaching self-administration of medications requiring injection, and also monitor ongoing research projects

An Emphasis on Minimally Invasive Surgery

When surgery is necessary, most pituitary tumors can be removed through a transsphenoidal approach, where a small incision in the patient's sphenoid sinuses.  This minimally invasive technique, called transsphenoidal surgery, typically helps patient recover from surgery faster.

Our surgeons, specializing in transsphenoidal surgery, perform more than 150 transsphenoidal adenomectomies per year.

In addition, Mass General is one of the few hospitals in the country to offer proton beam therapy to treat pituitary lesions. This non-invasive, high-precision radiosurgical technique treats the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding areas.

Complete Management and Outpatient Services

Our surgeons and neuroendocrinologists help patients and referring physicians around the world, working on a case-by-case basis to provide the most appropriate care.

We offer:

  • Consultations and second opinions
  • Comprehensive treatment and management
  • Treatment plans carried out in partnership with referring physicians

All patient cases are reviewed during our weekly Neuroendocrine Clinical Conference attended by endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists and radiation oncologists. The team develops a comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic plan, which is then implemented here or shared with the patient or referring physician.

Access to the Latest Research and Clinical Trials

Physicians at the Neuroendocrine Surgical Service conduct research and clinical trials, allowing us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible.

View the latest research and clinical trials here.

Headache

A headache is pain or discomfort in the head or face area.

Hypopituitarism

Hypopituitarism, also called an underactive pituitary gland, is a condition that affects the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland - usually resulting in a partial or complete loss of functioning of that lobe.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

MGH Russell Museum Lunchtime Lecture Series

Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation invites you to attend its latest lecture in its lunchtime series

Neuroendocrine Surgical Service

Wang Ambulatory Care Center 331
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-3910
Fax: 617-726-7546

Public Transportation Access: yes

Neuroendocrine Clinical Center

Zero Emerson Place
Suite 112
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-7948
Fax: 617-726-1241
Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 p.m. | Weekdays

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

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