The learning curve in endoscopic pituitary surgery and our experience

Neurosurg Rev. 2006 Oct;29(4):298-305; discussion 305. doi: 10.1007/s10143-006-0033-9. Epub 2006 Aug 26.


Experience is the important point in reduction of the complications and in the effectiveness of the surgical procedure in pituitary surgery. Endoscopic pituitary surgery differs from microscopic surgery, since it requires a steep learning curve for endoscopic skills. In this article, we evaluate our learning curve in two groups, as early and late experience. Purely endoscopic transsphenoidal operations were performed on 78 patients, which were retrospectively reviewed and grouped as early and late experience groups. We used the purely endoscopic endonasal approach to the sella that was performed via an anterior sphenoidotomy, without the use of a transsphenoidal retractor. All patients with adenomas were evaluated considering operation time, endocrinology, ophthalmology, total removal and, especially, modifications of standard technique. On the basis of the experience gained with the use of the endoscope in transphenoidal surgery over the years, modifications can be performed on the different phases of the endoscopic approach. Reviewing our cases in two groups of period due to our experience showed that the effectiveness of endoscopic surgery increases and operation time decreases. In our study, we identified a learning curve in endoscopic pituitary surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / complications
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Endocrine System / physiology
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures*
  • Pituitary Gland / diagnostic imaging
  • Pituitary Gland / physiology
  • Pituitary Gland / surgery*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery
  • Postoperative Care
  • Radiography
  • Sella Turcica / surgery
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Tissue Adhesives


  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Tissue Adhesives