Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pituitary Surgery & Awesome Diagrams

I never tire of reading about pituitary surgery. Having done it twice, I am still fascinated with the process. Recently, fellow Cushie Joann brought a new page to my attention. 

Mayfield Clinic has created an outstanding, easy-to-understand document for pituitary patients. You can also download the pdf, too.


After reviewing the multiple diagrams of the pituitary smack dab in the middle of the skull, I am reminded of others who diminish the severity of pituitary surgery.  They claim that pituitary surgery is not really brain surgery. The debate swirls among Cushies in the Cushing's community.  For me, it is very clear.  I have always been pretty outspoken that it is brain surgery. 


Let's review some basic facts. 

First, the brain is protected by the cranium because the brain is so important to the body's function. In the same way, the sella turcica, a bony little saddle where the pituitary sits, protects its passenger in the same way, for the same reason. Do you see my point?  Yes, thank you. 

Second, the neurosurgeon must drill a hole through the sella turcica to gain access to the pituitary.  If anyone is drilling anything in your skull to remove a tumor, I call this brain surgery!

Third, the American Brain Tumor Association lets us pituitary patients in the club. So does the National Brain Tumor Foundation.  Why would anyone really begrudge us?


Lastly, did you see how central the pituitary is to the brain? It is smack dab in the middle:  halfway between the ears, halfway between the nose and back of the head.  

Folks, really.  If you can't see how this is all taking place in the brain, I really can't make you see it any clearly.  I am all for facts, but sometimes, there is just no helping someone see what is right there at the top of the nose (internally).  

~Moxie Melissa