Dr. Zachary Litvack is Co-Chair of Neurosurgery and Director of Skull Base and Endoscopic Neurosurgery at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, WA. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Bioorganic Chemistry/Molecular Biology and his medical degree at Brown University. Dr. Litvack then moved to Portland, OR to attend Oregon Health & Science University where he completed an internship in general surgery, a residency in neurosurgery, and a master’s degree in clinical research from the NIH -supported Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute. Following his general neurosurgery training, he spent an additional year in pituitary surgery and neuro-endocrinology under the direction of Dr. Edward Laws in Boston, MA. Dr. Litvack has performed more than 300 pituitary operations, and has participated in more than 600 endoscopic endonasal operations in the course of his career. He has been an invited presenter on endoscopic skull base surgery at multiple universities, hospitals and international conferences. At Swedish, he trains one neurosurgical fellow each year in skull base and minimally invasive cranial surgery (including pituitary surgery).
PNA Physician member Juan Fernandez-Miranda, MD was part of the expert team at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford that was recently featured on NBC News for a successfully performing endoscopic skull base surgery on a two-year-old boy with a Craniopharyngioma. The use of 3-D printing and virtual reality tools allowed Dr. Fernandez-Miranda and his colleagues the opportunity to perfect their techniques prior to this groundbreaking surgery.
This month’s PNA Medical Corner focuses on an article co-written by several members of the PNA: Drs. Little, Gardner, Fernandez-Miranda, Barkhoudarian, Prevedello, Yuen and Kelly. The study looked at measures of recovery of the pituitary gland after fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery and found improvement only in a substantial minority of patients, especially those with adrenal insufficiency.
Back in June of this year, I started becoming sick. On a daily basis, I was having severe migraines and battling blurry vision. Icing on the cake, was I was rapidly losing weight. I knew something wasn’t right, so I contacted my doctor and scheduled an appointment.
On the day of my appointment, I had blood work done and was told that my results would be available 24-48 hours later. The next day while I was at work, I received a message that I had elevated levels of the hormone prolactin in my blood. Typically, normal levels should range between 4.8-23.3 ng/mL. Unfortunately, results showed that my levels were in the low to mid 40’s. My doctor expressed her concerns, and referred me to an in-house endocrinologist for future evaluation.
Knowledge is power and we believe keeping abreast of news on the research front is imperative. Each month in Highlights we feature a few of the top news stories, which you can read below. In addition, we update our website on a regular basis with the latest breaking news related to pituitary and hormonal disorders by gathering stories we think you'll be interested in from MD Linx, Medscape, MedPage Today, PubMed, Touch Endocrinology, News-Medical.net and WebMD.
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Disclaimer: PNA does not engage in the practice of medicine. It is not a medical authority, nor does it claim to have medical expertise. In all cases, PNA recommends that you consult your own physician regarding any course of treatment or medication.
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The Pituitary Patient Resource Guide Sixth Edition is now available! Be one of the first to have the most up-to-date information. The Pituitary Patient Resource Guide a one of a kind publication intended as an invaluable source of information not only for patients but also their families, physicians, and all health care providers. It contains information on symptoms, proper testing, how to get a diagnosis, and the treatment options that are available. It also includes Pituitary Network Association's patient resource listings for expert medical care.