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Prolactinoma Treatment

Surgery as a Treatment for Prolactinoma

Surgery should be considered if medical therapy cannot be tolerated or if it fails to:
  • Reduce prolactin levels
  • Restore normal reproduction and pituitary function
  • Reduce tumor size.
If therapy involving medications is only partially successful, this prolactinoma treatment should continue, possibly combined with surgery or radiation therapy.
The results of prolactinoma surgery depend a great deal on tumor size and prolactin level as well as on the skill and experience of the neurosurgeon. The higher the prolactin level, the lower the chance of serum prolactin levels returning to normal.
In the best medical centers, surgery corrects prolactin levels in 80 percent of patients with a serum prolactin less than 250 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter). Even in patients with large tumors that cannot be completely removed, drug therapy may be able to return serum prolactin levels to the normal range after surgery.
Depending on the size of the tumor and how much of it is removed, studies show that even with prolactinoma treatment, 20 to 50 percent will recur, usually within five years.
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