Craniotomy 101

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Hope everyone is safe and complying with appropriate social distancing at this state. We have seen positive measures from the measures put in place by the government with an obvious flattening of the curve and new cases, but we need to persist and push on with the regulations in place to ensure the long-term success of the plans.

With regards to pituitary surgery, the Australian Pituitary Foundation is aware of questions and trepidations pituitary tumour patients may have in regards to the prospect of having to undergo a craniotomy rather than a trans-sphenoidal surgery for their pituitary tumour. I will reiterate again that each case is assessed individually and many hospitals now have protocols in place to assist in the decision making in regards to transsphenoidal surgery or a craniotomy. Most of these relate to obtaining two negative Covid-19 nasal swabs – another topic I will address in later this week.

In regards to a craniotomy, the mystic of such a procedure is equal parts confronting, scary and emotive for patients face with such a procedure. We are in process of producing two video interviews to break down the misconceptions, and provide information as well as reassurance in the event a pituitary patient requires a craniotomy. The first of these interviews is now online on our youtube channel at https://youtu.be/GfhCiig4Yv8. This is a personal interview with a patient who has undergone a craniotomy and come out the other-side to tell her story. The second is in process and will be an interview with neurosurgeon and specialist pituitary surgeon Mr James King from the Royal Melbourne Hospital. I would encourage anyone reading this, if you have further specific questions for Mr King to send them through to us at support@pituitary.asn.au and I will endeavour to have them answer also.

As always during this time of relative uncertainty I wish you all good health. We all are receiving high volumes of emails over this period and I was moved by a short, but simple sign-off from the current president of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, Dr Sarah Olson…

Stay safe and kind.

Yi Yuen.