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Transsphenoidal surgery is a procedure that allows the surgeon to remove tumours, cysts or other abnormalities that can affect the pituitary gland and the area around it. Your pituitary gland is a small, bean-shaped structure that lies at the base (bottom) of your brain behind your eyes and produces many different hormones (types of body chemicals) that are critical for survival.
Your surgeon will use an endoscope (a small tube-shaped tool) to see all of the important structures during the procedure. This technique was developed by surgeons at UHN. It is now the preferred way to remove tumours, cysts or other abnormalities from the area around your gland. Doing the surgery in this way can help you have a shorter stay in the hospital and a quicker recovery. Fortunately, most pituitary tumours are not cancerous.
You must come for your pre-admission appointment before your surgery. If you don't come for your pre-admission visit, your surgery will be cancelled (unless you were given other instructions).
In the weeks before your operation, you will have a pre-admission appointment. This appointment could take 2 to 4 hours, or sometimes longer.
Pre-Admission ClinicToronto Western HospitalMain Pavilion – 1st Floor (Room 406)
Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Your surgery will be cancelled if you do. You may be able to take some medicines the morning of your surgery. The pharmacist or nurse will talk with you about this at your pre-admission appointment.
Please arrive 2 hours before your scheduled surgery time.
Toronto Western HospitalFell Pavilion – 2nd Floor, Room 116Maps & Directions
All hospital entrances are open by 6:00 am, however the Leonard entrance (between Nassau and Wales) is easiest to access.
The surgery usually takes about 2 to 4 hours.
On this page, you can read all about what to expect during your hospital stay. Or, just click on one of the links below, to get the answer you want right now.
Try to avoid blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing a lot or hard for 1 to 2 weeks. This will help the inside of your nose heal. It may also reduce your risk of nose bleeds.
Usually, you will be ready to go home about 2 to 3 days after your surgery. The hospital discharge time is before 11:00 am. You need to have a family member or friend take you home.
Before you leave:
Go to nearest Emergency Department if:
Please call your neurosurgeon or Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner to let us know that you have had these symptoms and have gone to the emergency department.
It usually takes about 2 to 6 weeks to recover from the surgery, but it can take up to 3 months for some people to feel like their normal self again. Everyone’s recovery time will be different.
If you use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, please discuss this with your team. You may be asked to wait 2 weeks after the surgery before re-using your machine. Make sure your machine is clean before you start using it again.
It is important to keep your nose clean and moist while you heal. Use only a normal saline nasal spray to moisten inside your nostrils. Don’t put any creams, ointments or objects into your nose. You can buy saline nasal spray (like Salinex or Simply Saline) at your local drug store.
To clean your nostrils:
For the first 6 weeks:
Traveling by plane
Go to nearest Emergency Department if:
If you have any questions, please call the
Pituitary Clinic at 416 603 5463.
You will have a follow-up appointment scheduled in the Pituitary Clinic. At this appointment, you will see either Dr. Zadeh or Dr. Gentili, and Dr. Ridout, our endocrinologist.
When Approximately 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
WherePituitary ClinicToronto Western Hospital
West Wing 7– 4th Floor
What to Expect
What to Bring
Do you live outside the GTA?
If you live at a distance from Toronto, a telehealth appointment may be possible. Please discuss this with our staff.
When3 months after surgery
Do you live outside the GTA? Some follow-up appointments may be possible via telehealth for people who live at a distance. Please discuss this with our staff.
To make or change appointments, call Pituitary Clinic 416 603 5463.
To Contact Your Neurosurgeon’s office:
Dr. Gelareh Zadeh
Phone: 416 603 5679
If you have questions about your post-operative care, you may contact:Leslie St. Jacques, Physician Assistant: 416 603 5800, ext. 3613
Please note that messages left at this voicemail may not be received until the next business day. If you have a medically urgent concern, please go directly to the Emergency Department.
Go to the nearest emergency department if you have any of the following:
If you have any questions, please call the Pituitary Clinic at 416 603 5463.
To Contact Your Neurosurgeon's office:
Please note that messages left at this voicemail may not be received until the next business day. If you have a
medically urgent concern, please go directly to the