patient consulting with nurse

Skull Base & Pituitary Center

Tumors at the base of the skull make treatment highly complex. Hard to reach, these challenging tumors affect several areas of the body, from brain function and balance to speaking and swallowing. At UVA we use advanced technology to treat skull base tumors and other neurological conditions with a level of accuracy that lets you avoid invasive, stressful surgery. Instead, we use minimally invasive procedures that allow tumor removal with less damage to the brain and surrounding structures.

At UVA, we see patients with pituitary tumors from all over the world. For more than 20 years, we've led the field in developing new treatments for pituitary tumors. We also work to make your experience here as convenient as possible. Patients are seen by neuroendocrinologists and neurosurgeons in the same visit at the same time.

Conditions We Treat

  • Hemangiopericytoma
  • Inverted papilloma
  • Meningioma
  • Meningocele/Encephalocele
  • Neurofibroma
  • Odontoid pannus
  • Odontoid synovial cyst
  • Olfactory neuroblastoma 
  • Optic nerve glioma
  • Osteoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Paraganglioma/Glomus tumors
  • Petrous apex lesions
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Rheumatoid pannus
  • Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma
  • Sinusitis 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

We also treat pituitary adenomas within our pituitary program:

Targeting Skull Base Conditions

Neurological conditions that cause headaches, vision loss, hearing and balance issues not only cause pain and interfere with daily life, but often go undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or treated with methods that only work halfway.

At UVA we use advanced technology to treat skull base tumors and other conditions with a level of accuracy that lets you avoid invasive, stressful surgery. Instead, we use:

  • Minimally invasive procedures that allow tumor removal with less damage to the brain and surrounding structures
  • Operating room monitors that assess the function of the nervous system, including facial nerve, auditory nerve, vocal cord and sensory and motor nerve monitoring, which minimizes complications during surgery
  • Gamma Knife, for faster planning and treatment of complex tumors without invasive surgery
  • Neurovascular surgery that uses minimally invasive stents to open blocked veins, relieve pressure in the brain and normalize blood flow, causing almost instant relief

Pituitary Tumor Treatment

Pituitary gland tumors aren't cancer, but they do require timely, effective treatment. Whether you need medication or surgery, we offer care from pituitary doctors who are experts in the field.

The pituitary gland makes hormones that affect the way many parts of the body work. It also controls hormones made by other glands in the body. When it comes to pituitary gland tumors, over 99 percent are benign and curable.

If untreated, pituitary tumors can lead to:

  • Blindness
  • Severe headaches
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Joint and bone issues
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Anemia
  • Infertility
  • Reduced longevity

With prompt and proper treatment and, if necessary, appropriate hormone replacement, patients who have had a pituitary tumor can expect to live a normal, productive life. 

Our Skull Base & Pituitary Experts

Our skull base team is composed of specialists in:

  • Neurosurgery
  • Head and neck surgery 
  • Sinus and skull base surgery 
  • Ear disorders (otology/neurotology)
  • Neuroradiology
  • Pituitary disorders (endocrinology) 
  • Radiation oncology 

They meet regularly to discuss your treatment plan to ensure you’re getting the best possible care. We also have a dedicated nurse practitioner who will work with you to manage multiple appointments and tests.

UVA pituitary surgeons and endocrinologists are some of the most experienced pioneers in their field:

  • Our doctors handle hundreds of cases
  • They also pioneered the use of new procedures and medications that are used around the world

The pituitary tumor team includes:

  • Endocrinologists
  • Interventional neuroradiologists
  • Neuro-ophthamologists
  • Neuropathologists 
  • Neuro-oncologists