Background: Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery was developed under a minimally invasive surgical strategy. This endonasal transsphenoidal endoscopy eliminates a sublabial or transfixional incision, the use of a transsphenoidal retractor and any nasal packing.
Materials and method: Reported are 160 patients who had undergone endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery from 1993 to 1999. Seventy were men and ninety women. Age ranged from 14 to 88 years (median 43 years). Among the 160 patients, 128 had pituitary adenomas, 9 had anterior fossa meningiomas, 7 had clival chordomas and 16 patients had other pathologies.
Results: Among the 68 patients with hormone-none-secreting adenomas, 53 (78%) patients had gross total removal. Among the 35 patients with prolactinomas, 24 (71%) patients exhibited normalized prolactin levels postoperatively. Eleven (70%) patients among the 16 with Cushing's disease had normal postoperative cortisol levels. Among the 9 patients with acromegaly, 7 (78%) had normalized postoperative IGF-1 levels. Among the 9 patients with anterior cranial fossa meningiomas. 7 had gross total removal and 2 had subtotal removal. Among the 7 patients with clival chordomas, 5 had total removal and 2 had subtotal removal. One patient with a large calcified recurrent pituitary fibrosarcoma died postoperatively. Postoperative morbidities included cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak in 6%, meningitis in 1.2%, deterioration of anterior pituitary function in 11%, temporary diabetes insipidus in 4%, permanent diabetes insipidus in 3%, and sinusitis in 1.2%. Outpatient surgery was performed in 2 patients. One hundred and eleven patients (66%) stayed in the hospital only overnight. Postoperative discomfort was minimal.
Conclusion: Endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery in this series resulted with comparable surgical outcomes to conventional microscopic transsphenoidal surgery. Patients' quick recovery, short hospital stays, and minimal postoperative discomfort have been observed.