Acromegaly is a hormonal condition characterized by excessive bone growth in your feet, hands, and face. At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute, we understand the impact this condition can have on your physical abilities or self-image.
Our team of neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, and endocrinologists treats a large number of people with this condition. We work together to find a treatment plan that fits your symptoms and circumstances and maximizes your quality of life.
What is acromegaly?
Acromegaly is a condition that affects the body’s growth hormone levels. When the body produces too much of this hormone (most often because of a tumor on the pituitary gland), it can lead to enlarged or otherwise disfigured body parts.
The hands, feet, and face are most commonly affected, but acromegaly can also affect the body’s nerves and organs.
Acromegaly symptoms can vary widely. People with acromegaly may experience:
- Large or swollen hands, feet, or chest
- Coarse facial features, such as a wide jawline or forehead
- Increased glove or shoe size
- Oily skin
- Extreme tiredness
- Muscle weakness or joint pain
At AHN, a team of physicians works together to evaluate and treat patients with acromegaly. You may see a neurosurgeon as well as an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and endocrinologist (hormone doctor).
After performing a thorough physical examination to evaluate your symptoms, your physician may recommend:
- Ophthalmologic testing: Our comprehensive ophthalmologic evaluations are performed by physicians who specialize in pituitary conditions such as acromegaly.
- Bloodwork and lab tests: Our endocrinologists may recommend a series of lab tests or bloodwork to assess your body’s hormone levels.
- CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan: Advanced imaging of the brain can confirm the presence of a pituitary tumor and give physicians details about its size and location.
Get expert acromegaly treatment at Allegheny Health Network
If you have acromegaly, AHN’s physicians will work together to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs. We use the latest technologies and therapies to treat patients. We’ll follow you over time and adapt your care plan as your symptoms or needs change. See why so many people choose AHN for pituitary neuroendocrine care.
Acromegaly treatment options may include:
- Medication: Medications work in different ways to block or lower levels of growth hormone in the body.
- Radiation therapy: Stereotactic radiosurgery involves a nonsurgical outpatient procedure that delivers a single, focused, high dose of radiation to a tumor. Our sophisticated and precise dosing enables our surgeons to treat tumors of different shapes and sizes.
- Surgery: Our fellowship-trained surgeons have expertise in performing open skull base surgery and endoscopic endonasal neurosurgery. In endoscopic endonasal surgery, physicians use innovative techniques to remove tumors through the nose. It is highly effective, with many patients experiencing fewer side effects and a quicker recovery. Read more about the benefits of minimally invasive neurosurgery.