Objective: The nature of the pituitary adenomas itself exposes the possibility of a recurrence of the tumor. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach for the removal of recurrent and residual pituitary adenomas, already treated by a microscopic or endoscopic transsphenoidal approach or by a transcranial route. Methods: A total of 59 adult patients with a recurrent or regrowing pituitary adenoma underwent surgery using a pure endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal approach. Of these patients, 31 were previously operated on by a microsurgical transsphenoidal approach, 22 by means of an endoscopic transsphenoidal route, and 6 via a transcranial route. The patient series has been divided into 3 tiers according to the primary surgery, and the results were evaluated accordingly. Results: Gross total removal was achieved in 37 of our cases (62.7%). According to prior surgery at primary disease, we found that in the subgroup of patients who underwent a microsurgical transsphenoidal approach we achieved gross total removal in 23 cases (74.2%; 23 of 31), whereas in the group of patients who underwent the endoscopic endonasal approach, gross total removal was attained respectively in 13 cases (59.1%; 13 of 22) and in only 1 case of those who underwent the transcranial approach (16.7%; 1 of 6). Postoperative complications included 1 case (1.7%) of cerebrospinal fluid leak and meningitis, and 1 with an hematoma in the tumor field (1.7%); both needed surgical reoperation. Conclusions: The endoscopic endonasal approach is a safe and effective procedure for the management of recurrent and/or regrowing pituitary tumors previously treated by either a microsurgical or an endoscopic approach. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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