Endoscopic pituitary surgery

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Abstract

Pituitary surgery is a continuous evolving speciality of the neurosurgeons' armamentarium, which requires precise anatomical knowledge, technical skills and integrated appreciation of the pituitary pathophysiology. What we consider “pure” endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is a procedure performed through the nose and the sphenoid bone, with the endoscope alone throughout the whole approach to visualize the surgical target area and without the use of any transsphenoidal retractor. It offers some advantages due to the endoscope itself: a superior close-up view of the relevant anatomy and an enlarged working angle are provided with an increased panoramic vision inside the surgical area. Concerning results in terms of mass removal, relief of clinical symptoms, cure of the underlying disease and complication rate, they are, at least, similar to those reported in the major microsurgical series, but patient compliance is by far better. Furthermore transsphenoidal endoscopy brings advantages to the patient (less nasal traumatism, no nasal packing, less post-op pain and usually quick recovery), to the surgeon (wider and closer view of the surgical target area, increase of the scientific activity as from the peer-reviewed literature on the topic in the last 10 years, smoothing of interdisciplinary cooperation), to the institution (shorter post-op hospital stay, increase of the case load). Besides, further progress and technological advance are expected from the close cooperation between different technologies and industries. Continuing works in such field of “minimalism” will offer further possibilities to provide the surgeon with even more effectiveness and safety, and, on the other hand, the patient with improvement of results.

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