Safety of minimally invasive pituitary surgery (MIPS) compared with a traditional approach

Laryngoscope. 2004 Nov;114(11):1945-8. doi: 10.1097/


Introduction: Transsphenoidal hypophysectomy is becoming progressively less invasive. Recent endoscopic techniques avoid nasal or intraoral incisions, use of nasal speculums, and nasal packing. Several case series of endoscopic endonasal pituitary surgery have been reported, but relatively little data exists comparing complication rates to more traditional approaches. We compare the complications of our first 50 cases of endoscopic, minimally invasive pituitary surgery (MIPS) to our last 50 sublabial transseptal (SLTS) procedures.

Study design: Retrospective case control study.

Methods: Fifty consecutive MIPS procedures and 50 consecutive SLTS procedures were reviewed retrospectively. Complication rates were analyzed and compared.

Results: Total complications per patient (P = .005), postoperative epistaxis (P = .031), lip anesthesia (P = .013), and deviated septum (P = .028) occurred more often in the SLTS group. No significant difference was seen in cerebrospinal fluid leak, meningitis, ophthalmoplegia, visual acuity loss, diabetes insipidus, intracranial hemorrhage, or death. In the MIPS group, length of stay (P < .001), use of lumbar drainage (P = .007), and nasal packing (P < .001) were also significantly reduced.

Conclusions: Endoscopic endonasal pituitary surgery provides improved complication rates when compared with SLTS approaches. In addition, we note advantages of the MIPS approach, including reduced length of hospital stay and decreased use of lumbar drainage and nasal packing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypophysectomy / adverse effects*
  • Hypophysectomy / methods*
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Retrospective Studies