Trans Nasal Surgery Used to Remove a Woman's Tumor

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For three years, a host of doctors were unable to diagnose Manju Talwar’s medical problem. The 24 year old school teacher complained of abnormal lactation, irregular menstrual cycles and was unable to conceive.

All symptoms suggested a possible gynaecological problem but despite heavy medication, Talwar’s condition did not improve. However, early this year, a MRI scan revealed a tumour in her pituitary gland.

The pea-sized gland situated at the base of the brain controls growth, metabolism and reproductive functions among others. In Talwar’s case, the tumour was pressing her optic nerve, which could lead to blindness. She was advised immediate surgery.

Talwar’s was not an easy surgery as while removing the tumour we had to ensure that the gland is preserved as she is in the child bearing age,” said Dr. Deepu Banerji, a neurosurgeon at Wockhardt Hospital,Mulund,Mumbai.

The Pituitary gland which is located at the center of the brain manufactures and secretes hormone that regulate growth ,sexual development and fluid balance in the body.

Pituitary adenomas(tumors) are abnormal growth on the pituitary glands which account for about 10% of intracranial neoplasms. They often remain undiagnosed, and small pituitary tumors have an estimated prevalence of 16.7% (14.4% in autopsy studies and 22.5% in radiologic studies). Tumor removal is usually done through transspheoidal approach. Endoscopic surgery is the new approach allowing a surgeon to gain maximum access within the narrow confines of the region avoiding extensive dissection.

Surgery is a common treatment for pituitary tumors. Trans-sphenoidal adenectomy surgery can often remove the tumor without affecting other parts of the brain. Endoscopic surgery has become common recently.

Dr Deepu Banerji, who operated on Talwar over three months, opted for a relatively new endoscopic trans-nasal technique for the delicate operation. This involved insertion of an endoscope through nasal cavity.

Banerji claimed that so far in Mumbai most doctors have been using microscopic transeptal technique, which involves a microscope inserted through the nasal cavity. This, he claimed has led to post-operative complications like numbness around nose and lips, nasal deformity or pain and incomplete removal of tumor.

In the new technique, an endoscope provides good view of the tumor to the doctor. Also, it makes it easier to differentiate between the tumor and the gland – leading to greater chances of complete tumour removal and preserving hormonal functions.

Talwar said she has so far not complained of any post-operative complications.For inquiries please contact us at


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