Craniopharyngioma is a rare tumor of the pituitary gland that occurs in younger children and adults older than 50. Craniopharyngiomas are noncancerous lumps that are known to reoccur after being treated.

It is thought that the cause of a craniopharyngioma may stem from the craniopharyngeal duct or Rathkes pouch. However, the exact cause is still unknown.

If you or your child have an craniopharyngioma, the most common symptoms that will be experienced are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomitting
  • Loss of balance
  • Vision changes
  • Touble walking
  • Changes in energy levels

A craniopharyngioma can be detected with a blood sample to test for irregular levels of hormomes. MRIs and CT scans are completed to clearly show the size and location of a tumor.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI of the brain to confirm diagnosis and identify location of the tumor.
Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)- Scans of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis to find the original tumor site.
Biopsy- Minimally invasive nature of fine needle aspiration biopsy may be required to confirm to confirm the type of tumor.
Spinal Tap- Lumbar puncture to get a sample of cerebrospinal fluid to healp diagnose serious infections.

Every treatment of a craniopharyngioma is different. Factors that impact the course of treatment and outcome are patient’s overall health condition, age, gender, tumor location and size. The best treatment for a craniopharyngioma is surgical removal. At ONE® Brain & Spine Center® your Southern California neurosurgeons, performs minimally invasive procedure to surgically remove the tumor.

Medication and radiation are other treatments to help contain the tumor. Medication will reduce hormones from releasing while radiation will destroy any remaining tumor cells after treatment.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments

  • Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery- The endoscopic transsphenoidal surgical procedure uses a light called endoscope inserted into the nostril and sphenoid sinus to access and remove pituitary tumors. The term transsphenoidal literally means “through the sphenoid sinus.”

Offering the latest in innovative, minimally invasive spine procedures and orthopedic care in Southern California, the team at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® is focused on helping our patients live the best life possible while making informed decisions about their healthcare. Call (949) 383-4190 or Contact Us today for an appointment.