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Panminerva Medica 2012 December;54(4):271-6


language: English

Advances in trans-sphenoidal pituitary surgery

Solari D. 1, Cavallo L. M. 1, De Angelis M. 1, Villa A. 1, Somma T. 1, Esposito F. 1, Del Basso De Caro M. 2, Cappabianca P. 1

1 Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurological Sciences, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy; 2 Division of Pathology and Cytopathology, Department of Biomorphological and Functional Science, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy


Pituitary surgery is a continuous evolving speciality of the neurosurgeons’ armamentarium, requiring precise anatomical knowledge, technical skills and integrated appreciation of the pituitary pathophysiology. Actually, it could be considered the result of a close cooperation between different specialists, i.e. the ophthalmologist, the neuroradiologist, the endocrinologist, the neurosurgeon, the pathologist, etc. In this teamwork environment each member plays his own role, offering his contribute to the final result; every effort is performed to provide patients with the best possible procedure, individually measured. The endoscopic pituitary surgery performed by means of a transsphenoidal approach perfectly fits this scenario, being though advocated as the result of an evolutionary process rather than a revolutionary one. The “pure” endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery – consisting of a whole procedure performed with the endoscope alone and without the use of any transsphenoidal retractor – offers some advantages due to the endoscope itself: a superior close-up view of the relevant anatomy, very important at the tumor/gland interface and an enlarged working angle are provided with an increased panoramic vision inside the surgical area. Results in terms of mass removal, relief of clinical symptoms, cure of the underlying disease and complication rate are similar to those reported in the major microsurgical series but patient compliance is by far better.

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