Pituitary Innovation and Teaching

Types of treatment

What are the risks?

At St. Michael’s Hospital, pituitary surgery is done often and is very safe. However, just as with any surgery, there are risks. Patients and families should ask questions and discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with their doctors before surgery. Some of the risks and the potential outcomes of these risks are listed below:

Risks Potential Outcomes
Damage to pituitary gland Loss of hormone functions. This might require taking hormone replacement medicine(s) (for replacing one to six hormone(s) either temporarily or permanently.
Damage to blood vessels (i.e. carotid arteries) that are around the pituitary gland Stroke, a lot of blood loss, or death
Damage to lining of the brain Leakage of brain fluid and may cause an infection called meningitis
Vision problems due to damage to the nerves of the eyes Partial or complete blindness in one or both eyes
Scar tissue formation or crusting in the nose This can lead to nasal obstruction or bad smells because the nose is not being cleaned properly
Sinus infection Loss of smell and/or taste, need for antibiotics and nasal rinsing


Page last updated: November 22, 2016