What is the surgical treatment of a prolactinoma?
The surgical treatment of prolactinomas involves delicately opening the brain to remove the tumor in the pituitary gland. The results of surgery depend a great deal on tumor size and prolactin level as well as the skill and experience of the neurosurgeon. The higher the prolactin level, the lower the chance of normalizing serum prolactin. At best, surgery corrects prolactin levels in 80% of patients whose blood prolactin level is below 250 mg/mL. Even in patients with large tumors that cannot be completely removed, drug therapy may be able to return serum prolactin to the normal range after surgery. Drug therapy may also be started before surgery to “debulk” the tumor for the surgical procedure. Depending on the size of the tumor and how much of it is removed, studies show that in 20% to 50% of cases, the tumor will return, usually within five years. How do I choose a skilled neurosurgeon? Because the results of surgery are so dependent on the skill and knowledge of the neurosurgeon, p