Endoscopic transnasal transsphenoidal microsurgery versus the sublabial approach for the treatment of pituitary tumors: endonasal complications

Laryngoscope. 1999 Nov;109(11):1838-40. doi: 10.1097/00005537-199911000-00022.


Objective: To evaluate the nasal complications after transnasal transsphenoidal operations for pituitary tumors, comparing two surgical techniques: traditional sublabial transseptal and endoscopic transseptal techniques.

Study design: We retrospectively evaluated by self-reported questionnaire and endoscopic examination the nasal condition of 40 consecutive patients with pituitary tumors: 20 patients had endoscopic surgery and 20 had surgery with the traditional sublabial technique.

Results: Compared with the traditional technique, the endoscopic approach was associated with a shorter operative time (about 40 min), shorter hospitalization time (about half), absence of recurrent epistaxis snoring and denture problems, and lower incidence of septal perforation, synechia, and crust formation. Furthermore, loss of nasal tip projection was found only in the group that had surgery with the sublabial technique.

Conclusions: Endoscopically guided transseptal transsphenoidal surgery is simple to perform and time-saving, and it results in fewer nasal and denture complications than the sublabial technique. At the same time, it allows the surgeon all the benefits of the binocular microscopic surgical field that are associated with the traditional approach.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / surgery*
  • Chordoma / surgery*
  • Endoscopy*
  • Humans
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies