Comparison of endoscopic and microscopic removal of pituitary adenomas: Single-surgeon experience and the learning curve

Bert W. O'Malley, M. Sean Grady, Brandon C. Gabel, Marc A. Cohen, Gregory G. Heuer, Jared Pisapia, Leif Erik Bohman, Jason M. Leibowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object: The endoscopic endonasal approach for resection of pituitary lesions is an effective surgical option for tumors of the sella turcica. In this study the authors compared outcomes after either purely endoscopic resection or traditional microscope-aided resection. They also attempted to determine the learning curve associated with a surgical team converting to endoscopic techniques. Methods: Retrospective data were collected on patients who were surgically treated for a pituitary lesion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania between July 2003 and May 2008. Age, sex, race, presenting symptoms, length of hospital stay, surgical approach, duration of surgery, tumor pathological features, gross-total resection (GTR) of tumor, recurrence of the lesion, and intraoperative and postoperative complications were noted. All procedures were performed by the same senior neurosurgeon, who was initially unfamiliar with the endoscopic endonasal approach. Results: A total of 25 patients underwent microscopic resection and 25 patients underwent endoscopic resection performed by a single skull base team consisting of the same senior neurosurgeon and otorhinolaryngologist (M.S.G. and B.W.O.). In the microscopically treated cohort, there were 8 intra- or postoperative complications, 6 intraoperative CSF leaks, 17 (77%) of 22 patients had GTR on postoperative imaging, 5 patients underwent ≥ 2 operations, and 10 (59%) of 17 patients reported total symptom resolution at follow-up. The endoscopically treated group had 7 intraor postoperative complications and 7 intraoperative CSF leaks. Of the patients who had pre- and postoperative imaging studies, 14 (66%) of 21 endoscopically treated patients had GTR; 4 patients had ≥ 2 operations, and 10 (66%) of 15 patients reported complete symptom resolution at follow-up. The first 9 patients who were treated endoscopically had a mean surgical time of 3.42 hours and a mean hospital stay of 4.67 days. The next 8 patients treated had a mean surgical time of 3.11 hours and a mean hospital stay of 3.13 days. The final 8 patients treated endoscopically had a mean surgical time of 2.22 hours and a mean hospital stay of 3.88 days. The difference in length of operation between the first 9 and the last 8 patients treated endoscopically was significantly different. There was a trend toward decreased CSF leaks and other complications from the first 2 groups compared with the third group. Conclusions: In this subset of patients, the use of endoscopic endonasal resection results in a similar complication and symptom resolution rate compared with traditional techniques. The authors postulate that the learning curve for endoscopic resection can be ≤ 17 procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE10
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Endoscopy
  • Learning curve
  • Microsurgery
  • Outcome
  • Pituitary adenoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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