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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: No pituitary gland, normal thyroid function & growth hormone


 dan95946 - Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:17 am

My pituitary gland was removed Jan. 08 along with a large tumor. Currently I am taking medicine for low cortisol (adrenal gland) and low testosterone (sex glands). My endocrinologist is telling me my thyroid function and growth hormone are normal. How can this be? Where do these glands get their instructions when the master gland is gone?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:35 am

User avatar Hi,
I am not an endocrinologist and this question should really be directed at your doctor but I will try to answer your question at least in part.

From my understanding during surgery aimed at removal of the pituitary (transsphenoidal hypophysectomy) 80-90% of the pituitary is removed, leaving a small island of tissue attached to the pituitary stalk.

From looking at the complication rate of this procedure many patients do not have long term hormonal deficiencies although low cortisol and low testosterone are the most common. Again, long term here means more than 12 months after the procedure. Some patients have transient diabetes insipidus which may be accompanied by transient deficiencies in anterior pituitary hormones such as TSH and GH.

I hope I have helped to partially answer your question. If you do come up with a more detailed explanation from your doctor please be sure to post here for everyone else!

Best wishes to you!

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