My neurologist recently recommended Gamma
Knife for a pituatary adenoma, which
has not decreased in size the past six
months on bromocriptine. I have been
having headaches which are getting worse.
My prolactin was 114 six months ago when
I had a transient
ischemic attack, went down to 17,
but has now gone up to 43.
I would like to see a physician regarding
this problem. If Gamma Knife is recommended,
what is the percentage of success with
this, the side effects, etc? I read your
q/a but didn't see any questions regarding
this issue. Please advise me. Thank you!
Also, what are the risk factors of the
Gamma Knife when wanting to take care of
a pituitary tumor (prolactinoma)? What
are the after effects of the Gamma Knife?
Do you see immediate results or gradual
ones? Can the radiation cause burning problems?
Dr. Lee responds:
The first line approach to the treatment
of pituitary adenomas is usually surgical,
via transphenoidal resection. If the
tumor can be completely resected, this
provides the fastest relief of hormone
overproduction. If surgery cannot completely
extirpate the tumor, then Gamma Knife
radiosurgery is an excellent option.
Success rates in stopping hormone overproduction
are modest. In addition, results can take
several months to years. Side effects are
uncommon but include panhypopituitarism,
visual deficits, and rarely facial numbness.
If you would like to discuss this further,
please call 800-789-PENN (7366) and ask
to be connected to Dr.
John Y.K. Lee's office. You can also request
an appointment online.