× As their name indicates, these relatively common pituitary adenomas do not result in excess hormone production. Instead they typically cause symptoms because of increasing size and pressure effect on the normal pituitary gland and on structures near

Post Surgical Follow Up Question

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Replied by kfbrady on topic Post Surgical Follow Up Question

Bob,

Rereading your replies I think we have a difference in terminology probably caused by my misuse of it ! Pituitary tumours - at least from how they have been explained to me here in the USA - are classed as functional or non-functional adenomas. In the first case hormone production is impacted by the tumour. In the second case, which was the version I had, hormone production is not impacted. So, again I was lucky in that the biggest single threat to me was simply down to "mass effect" as the tumour was about 15mm and could potentially have damaged my optic nerves.

Did you also have transsphenoidal surgery to remove the tumour?

I've never been quite as far south on that coast as Oamaru. Timaru was as far as I got. It's a beautiful country though.

Kevin.
2 years 8 months ago #10314

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Replied by Bob50 on topic Post Surgical Follow Up Question

I'm amazed by how those of us have discovered how we have found out we have a pituitary tumor. In my case I was feeling a bit down and lethargic , so we headed off to the GP. He thought I may have been depressed and prescribed antidepressants and to be on the safe side a blood test. The next day he called to say stop taking the pills you're not depressed, come in and see him. He advise me that I may have a problem with my pituitary gland and referred me to an endocrinologist. He also said that we only found out about it because the Lab tect decided to do some additional tests on my bloods. (Who every the lab tect was, he/she is my Pituitary hero for going that extra mile).

We don't have a pituitary association here in NZ, the only ones I know of is this one , UK and Aust, so it has been great to be able to chat with someone else who has been throgh the same experience. My wife has been absolutely fabulous in supporting me all the way through the process, but it's not quite the same as talking to a fellow pituitary patient.

You mentioned you have a friend in Tauranga, in July we moved out of there to Oamaru in the South Island, it's a small world.

Take care Kevin, cheers Bob
2 years 8 months ago #10313

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Replied by kfbrady on topic Post Surgical Follow Up Question

Interesting differences Bob.

I was originally diagnosed after I was treated for Lyme disease, a tick borne infection fairly common in the north-east USA the symptoms of which include headaches. My PCP/GP prescribed a course of antibiotics which cleared up everything except the headaches so she scheduled a brain MRI for me. On getting the results she referred me to a neurosurgeon at a local hospital who I really liked. He strongly recommended surgery and it was scheduled for the next week. Before the surgery I saw an endocrinologist at the hospital who ran some tests and was satisfied with my hormone levels and that the tumour was non-functioning. Surgery - almost 7 hours of it - wasn't exactly pleasant but I recovered quickly. A few hours after the surgery I had a ct scan which showed no bleeding or CSF leakage and the next day I had an MRI which showed that the surgeon had removed practically all of the tumour. The surgeon explained to me that it is almost impossible to get 100% of it due to its consistency, but that without its blood supply any remnants would simply be absorbed by my body. I saw the surgeon 3 weeks later then again 6 months later after another MRI, and again another 6 months after that . Each time the results showed absolutely no re-occurrence. Rather than scheduling continued appointments with the neurosurgeon, I now simply ask my GP for a prescription for an MRI. I haven't seen an endocrinologist since, but my GP runs blood tests every 6 months or so.

Certainly the American health care system could stand some improvement but all my treatment was covered by the insurance that the company I then worked for provided at no cost to me. Treatment was easily scheduled with minimal wait times and my local large teaching hospital is only 10 minutes from my house and has the very latest in medical equipment and superb medical staff. My radiology center is a couple of miles away and I could probably get an MRI tomorrow if I wanted one. I'm an ex-pat Brit and my wife is Canadian - we live in the outer suburbs of NYC - so we are both familiar with the pros and cons of "free" health care systems although I am very aware of how lucky I was to have excellent insurance in the USA and I feel for those here who don't have such coverage. I also have an old friend who emigrated from Britain to EnnZed a few years back. She works as a psychiatric nurse in the Tauranga area of the North Island so I do get some "intel" from her on NZ health care from time to time.

Again, thank you very much for sharing your experiences with me. I wish you continued good health.

Kevin.
2 years 8 months ago #10312

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Replied by Bob50 on topic Post Surgical Follow Up Question

Hi again,

Should have mentioned I have annual consultations with my Endocrinologist which are basic, "how are you feeling", "any problems", "your bloods look ok", "see you in 12 months". However I know if I need to see him at anytime, I can contact his Endo Nurse to arrange an appointment, it would appear our Endocrinologist are more accessible than those in the US.

Our Health Care system in NZ is free so there is no cost for specialists, surgery, hospital stays and most high end medications are fully subsidies by the government ie growth hormone, testosterone, etc, you only pay for a prescription fee and GP visits. There are heath care insurance companies if you want surgery straight away, but I only had to wait around 6mths and it's carried out by the same surgeons as the private sector.

Good to hear you don't have any issues, I also feel recovery has been successful, but still keep on top of the blood test level results every 10 weeks.

Enjoy the end of year celebration and all the best for the new year.
2 years 8 months ago #10311

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Replied by kfbrady on topic Post Surgical Follow Up Question

Bob,

Thank you for your reply.

I haven't fully discussed this with my primary care physician yet but my thoughts are now that as long as she continues to write me a prescription, and my insurance covers the MRI, then why not continue with annual scans. They are very easy to schedule in the USA and it's not like they are a great inconvenience. I'm a very fit and healthy 66 year old and I intend to stay that way!

Happy Holidays to you in New Zealand - one of my favourite countries to visit!
2 years 8 months ago #10310

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Replied by Bob50 on topic Post Surgical Follow Up Question

Hi,
As Tammy said each patients post surgery scan follow ups are based on each individual, however I'm happy to share my experience with you.

Like you I have a nonfunctional pituitary and had my surgery in August 2005 (aged 55). For the first 3yrs following surgery I had 6 monthly MRI Scans. Each time the Neurosurgeon would advise "there was no significant change" which I took as "sort of good news". I then went on yearly MRI Scans for 5 yrs and again I was told the same thing by my Endocrinologist that there was no change, agin good news. I'm now on 5 yearly scans, so I feel all is going well and my Endocrinologist believes I should be clear of any reoccurrence of a tumor.

You properly should know that my surgery was done in New Zealand, so the way my pituitary team handled my recovery may be slightly different from yours, but both yours and my team are looking for a postive out come for each of us.

Good luck.
2 years 8 months ago #10309

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