Piedmont Center for Pituitary and Skull Base Surgery

Disorders and tumors of the pituitary gland and skull base are challenging because of where they are found – under the brain and among important blood vessels and nerves. Treatment requires an experienced and skilled multidisciplinary medical team.  

The fellowship-trained skull base surgeons at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital work with endocrinologists, ophthalmologists, radiation and medical oncologists to diagnose and treat patients who need pituitary and/or minimally invasive cranial base surgery for tumors. Our multidisciplinary team works with patients and families to create the most comprehensive treatment plan for each patient. The advanced, less-invasive techniques often used to treat skull base tumors provide a faster recovery time and a shorter hospital stay than traditional open-surgery approaches. 

Our program is led by co-directors, Dr. Tyler Kenning of neurosurgery and Dr. Douglas Farquhar of otolaryngology. Our team specializes in skull base and the treatment of conditions such as meningiomas, pituitary tumors, craniopharyngioma, juvenile angiofibromas, chordomas, sinonasal malignancy, esthesioneuroblastomas, complex sinus disease and spinal fluid leaks.

The anterior skull base surgery center team includes neurosurgeons and otolaryngologists, also known as ear, nose and throat specialists, experienced in both open craniotomy and endoscopic endonasal surgery. A craniotomy requires opening the skull to perform surgery that creates visible incisions, and generally, patients need a longer hospital stay and recovery time. 

Many patients qualify for a less-invasive approach: endonasal endoscopy. Instead of opening the skull to access the tumor, a tiny camera attached to a long, thin, lighted tube is inserted through the nose and sinus cavities. The neurosurgeon inserts small tools through the nasal cavity and removes the tumor using those images as a guide. The minimally invasive endoscopic approach means that, unlike open craniotomy surgery, there is no visible scarring, less discomfort after the surgery, shorter hospital stays and faster overall recoveries. 

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