Pituitary & Skull Base Tumor Care

If you have a suspected or diagnosed tumor of your pituitary gland or another area of your anterior (front) skull base, turn to UC San Diego Health for the most advanced care. 

These tumors include meningioma, craniopharyngioma, chordoma or sinonasal cancer such as olfactory neuroblastoma. Just a few years ago many of these complex tumors were inoperable.

Now, thanks to minimally invasive techniques such as the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA), we can access this region of the skull and provide the most effective treatment possible.

Why Choose Us for Pituitary and Skull Base Tumor Care?

  • UC San Diego Health is ranked among the top 25 in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery, as well as cancer care, by U.S. News and World Report.
  • We are a high-volume pituitary tumor center, which means we have extensive experience and a multidisciplinary team that offers patients the best outcomes.
  • We are the only program in the San Diego region to offer expanded endonasal surgery for meningioma, craniopharyngioma, chordoma and sinonasal cancers (in the nasal cavity behind the nose) such as esthesioneuroblastoma.
  • We use tailored imaging protocols and the most modern scanners to facilitate surgical decision-making, and ultimately to provide optimal treatment.
  • Our patients benefit from access to clinical trials and experienced endocrinologists and oncologists who provide innovative treatments for multiple recurrent tumors.
  • Our interdisciplinary approach has earned recognition as a Multidisciplinary Team of Distinction by the North American Skull Base Society.

Types of Anterior Skull Base Tumors We Treat

Health Library: Read More About Skull Base Tumors

How We Treat Pituitary and Anterior Skull Base Tumors

As a destination center, our pituitary and anterior skull base tumor program is on the leading edge of technology and innovation in neurosurgery. Our team creates a treatment plan tailored to each patient and their tumor, with the goal of obtaining the most favorable outcome.

Skull base tumors are complex and require multidisciplinary care. Our neurosurgeons work hand-in-hand with otolaryngologists and collaborate closely with endocrinologists, ophthalmologists and other specialists to provide comprehensive care.

We also hold a regular Multidisciplinary Pituitary Conference, where we establish the best treatment strategies for challenging new and recurrent hormone-secreting tumors that cause Cushing’s disease and acromegaly, as well as prolactin-secreting tumors that resist treatment.

Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery

We are one of few programs in the country to offer the expanded endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) for comprehensive care of anterior and anterolateral skull base tumors.

EEA is a minimally invasive technique that allows a surgeon to use the nose as a natural corridor to approach tumors at the base of the skull, beneath the brain and also in the cavernous sinus. The technique also provides direct access to the top of the spine.

A thin rod lens called an endoscope is threaded through the nose into the sinuses and provides access to the skull base. This gives your surgeon access to parts of the brain that would be hard to reach using traditional surgical approaches.

In addition, EEA provides superior visualization via high-resolution 4K video. This ultimately results in a short hospital stay and improved results.

Health Library: Read More About Endonasal Surgery

Research & Clinical Trials

Neurological specialists at UC San Diego Health are dedicated to improving treatments, technologies and procedures in the field of skull base surgery.

Learn About Our Clinical Trials