The pituitary gland functions as a control room for your hormones. It produces hormones that regulate how other glands produce their hormones.
The pituitary gland influences a variety of critical processes, including how we grow, burn and store energy from food, respond to stress and function sexually.
Pituitary disorders develop when the pituitary gland produces either too much or too little of its hormones.
At MedStar Washington Hospital Center, patients benefits from our specialized Pituitary Center, in which care is coordinated between endocrinology, neurosurgery, neuro-ophthalmology and radiology.
Pituitary tumors: These are often not cancerous and rarely spread to other areas of the body. These tumors can occasionally grow and place pressure on important nerves and blood vessels, and cause abnormal production of pituitary hormones. The most common type of non-cancerous pituitary tumor is called a prolactinoma, which usually can be treated with medication.
We take a multidisciplinary approach to treatment working in conjunction with other medical specialists to deliver comprehensive care.
Treatment options—alone or used in combination—include:
- Surgery to remove the tumor
- Radiation (131-I) to shrink the tumor
- Medication to help control the release of hormones and help shrink the tumor
Other pituitary conditions include:
- Cushing's disease: In this disorder, the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Treatment may include surgery to remove the pituitary tumor, radiation to reduce the production of cortisol, medication or removal of the adrenal gland.
- Acromegaly: This is a hormonal disorder in which the pituitary produces excessive amounts of growth hormone (GH), often the result from noncancerous tumors on the pituitary. Treatment may include surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy, and medication to reduce the production of growth hormone.