IN Ross Township Winter 2021 - Page 4

An innovative procedure gave Mike his life back

For 10 years , Mike experienced increasingly odd symptoms that never seemed to be connected to anything in particular . He assumed the anxiety , nervousness , panic attacks , headaches , fatigue , and overall crankiness were just part of getting older . But his wife , Gayle , and his adult children were worried something else was up .
When it was time to renew his contact lens subscription , Mike scheduled a standard eye exam . When he failed the peripheral vision test , his eye doctor told him he needed an MRI . Mike thought that seemed excessive , but went along with the plan . To his dismay , the MRI revealed a brain tumor on his pituitary gland to be the source of his symptoms .
The average pituitary gland is the size of a kidney bean . Though Mike ’ s tumor was non-cancerous , it was the size of a walnut . To alleviate the symptoms , he needed brain surgery — and fast .
Enter Richard W . Williamson Jr ., MD , a neurosurgeon at AHN . After an ophthalmologic exam and bloodwork to evaluate Mike ’ s pituitary gland function , Dr . Williamson decided to use an innovative and minimally invasive technique to remove Mike ’ s tumor , rather than traditional brain surgery . Using an endoscope — a thin rigid tube with a tiny microscope , light , and camera built into it inserted through the nose to guide the surgeon with ultimate precision — he was able to remove the tumor in three hours and with one incision , and Mike was able to return home three days later .

“ I just can ’ t believe how much better I feel now than I did a year ago .”

— Mike
“ Many times , there are minimally invasive treatments we can take advantage of to help patients get better , faster ,” says Dr . Williamson . “ This was one of them .”
Now , with regularly scheduled follow-up appointments with Dr . Williamson , Mike is back in control of his life and feeling like himself again .

ABOUT 10,000

PITUITARY TUMORS ARE DIAGNOSED EACH YEAR IN THE UNITED STATES — MOST OF THEM BENIGN .
Source : The American Cancer Society