Pituitary Neuroendocrine Care

The pituitary gland is a tiny organ attached to the base of the brain that serves as your body’s hormone control center. When a pituitary tumor, cyst, or another condition affects how this gland functions, you may experience changes in your energy levels, mood, eyesight, or other body processes.

At the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Pituitary Center, our team of expert physicians and providers care for people with pituitary gland disorders. Our team includes caretakers in multiple different specialties, including neurosurgery and endocrinology, who collaborate to provide you the best, most efficient care for your specific condition. Our coordinated approach to treatment provides a smooth, prompt care experience.

The pituitary gland – your body’s hormone control center 

Your pituitary gland is the size of a garbanzo bean (chickpea). The pituitary gland sits at the base of your brain and communicates with other glands that control hormones for stress, growth, reproduction, thyroid function, and other functions.

Too many or too few hormones may disrupt the balance in your body. This balance is necessary to keep your body in proper working order. 

Pituitary neuroendocrine care at AHN: Why choose us?

People with a pituitary tumor or a related condition choose AHN because of our:

  • Expert team: Our network includes physicians from different specialties, all who have received training in complex and sometimes rare pituitary conditions.
  • Collaborative approach: The pituitary gland affects many systems in the body, so people with neuroendocrine conditions often need care from multiple physicians. Our pituitary specialists — including neurosurgeons and endocrinologists — work together to streamline your diagnosis and treatment. You get prompt, comprehensive care.
  • Customized treatment plans: After we pinpoint a diagnosis, we develop a thoughtful care plan that addresses your symptoms while considering your preferences. Your treatment plan could include medication, close monitoring, radiation therapy, surgery — or a combination of these treatments.
  • Minimally invasive surgery options: Our team has expertise in performing complex brain surgeries using a minimally invasive endoscopic approach. Some of our physicians also specialize in — and pioneered — intricate skull base surgeries for certain pituitary conditions, leading to a shorter recovery. Learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive neurosurgery.
  • Long-term follow-up: If you have a pituitary tumor, we may recommend you undergo regular imaging or other tests. These results help alert us if a tumor comes back or to other changes that may require an adjustment to your care plan. We stay in regular contact with our patients, to help you maintain your health over the long term.
  • Focus on research: We participate in research efforts that study the treatment of pituitary conditions. These findings allow us to offer the most promising treatments for pituitary tumors and related conditions.

Pituitary conditions we treat

Our team evaluates and manages patients with a wide range of pituitary and other endocrine disorders, including:

  • Pituitary tumors
  • Pituitary cysts including arachnoid cysts, Rathke cleft cysts, cystic adenomas, and pars intermedia cysts
  • Empty Sella Syndrome
  • Pituitary apoplexy
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Inflammatory conditions, such as lymphocytic hypophysitis and sarcoidosis

Symptoms of pituitary disorders

Not all pituitary disorders cause symptoms. The first sign of a tumor usually depends on whether the tumor is functional (making excess hormones) or non-functional (not making excess hormones).

Symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Feeling cold
  • Vision problems or vision loss 

Evaluation for pituitary disorders

Evaluation may include a variety of exams including: 

  • Lab testing to learn whether the pituitary gland is functioning normally
  • Endocrine evaluation to determine treatment for glands that aren’t functioning at their best
  • Eye exam to be sure there is no vision loss from a tumor pressing on the optic nerve
  • Neurosurgical consideration to remove the tumor
  • Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) exam if surgery is needed

Treatment of pituitary disorders

Treatment depends on whether the tumor makes too much of a hormone and, if it does, which hormone it makes. Treatment options may include: 

  • Surgery
  • Medicines that block tumor hormones or help prevent problems caused by these hormones

Get expert pituitary neuroendocrine treatment at AHN

The AHN Pituitary Center includes physicians who have specialized training and years of experience treating patients with pituitary conditions. Your care team may include:

  • Neurosurgeons
  • Endocrinologists
  • Head and neck surgeons
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Neuro-oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Radiation oncologists

Contact us

To schedule an appointment or learn more about services at the AHN Pituitary Center, call (412) 359-8246.

Find us

AHN Pituitary Center
320 East North Avenue, South Tower, 6th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15212