📞 Webinar: Surgical Strategies in the Treatment of Pituitary Tumors

Presented by

Mario Zuccarello, MD
Neurosurgeon
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Department of Neurosurgery

and

Jonathan A. Forbes, MD
Neurosurgeon
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Department of Neurosurgery

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Contact us at webinar@pituitary.org if you have any questions.

Date: December 3, 2018
Time: 3:00PM – 4:00PM Pacific Standard Time 6:00PM – 7:00PM Eastern Standard Time

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the role of surgery in the treatment of pituitary tumors
  • To understand the advantages and disadvantages of different surgical approaches in the treatment of pituitary tumors
  • To understand the risks and benefits associated with different surgical strategies

Presenter Bios:

Mario Zuccarello, MD
Neurosurgeon

Mario Zuccarello, MD, is currently a Professor of Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati. He was the Frank H. Mayfield Chair for Neurological Surgery and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery from 2009-2017. Dr. Zuccarello is also a member of the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute and the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Team.

Dr. Zuccarello is dedicated to clinical research in neurovascular disease and the development of new neurosurgical techniques for the treatment of stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, vasospasm, carotid artery disease, and moyamoya disease. While Cincinnati has become widely known for its leadership in stroke research, treatment, and the development of clot-busting drugs, Dr. Zuccarello has led a quiet revolution in the prevention and treatment of brain hemorrhages, which rank among the most hazardous conditions of the brain.

Dr. Zuccarello graduated summa cum laude from the Gymnasium in Catania, Italy, in 1970. He received his medical degree from the University of Padova, Italy, in 1976, and completed his residency in neurosurgery from Padova, with summa cum laude honors, in 1980. He subsequently performed research fellowships at the University of Iowa and the University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, and a clinical fellowship at the University of Cincinnati.

He was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society in 2001 and has been named to the Best Doctors in America since 2005. In 2013, he received recognition by members of the Vasospasm consortium for his dedication and outstanding accomplishments in the field of experimental and clinical research on subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Jonathan A. Forbes, MD
Neurosurgeon

Dr. Forbes is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with expertise and interest in open and minimally-invasive approaches for treatment of pathology of the cranial base. He has a long and distinguished history of academic recognition, commitment to excellence, and service to our country. As an undergraduate at Grove City College, he was a recipient of the Trustee Scholarship and was named Sportsman of the Year after his senior season of varsity football. Following the events of 9/11, he enrolled in the Health Professions Scholarship Program with the United States Air Force. In medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, he was a recipient of the David Glasser Honors’ Award for academic performance. During neurosurgical residency at Vanderbilt University, he received numerous national accolades—including the AANS Synthes Craniofacial Award for Research in Neurotrauma as well as the AANS Top Gun Award. His score on the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) written board examination during his fourth year of residency was recognized in the top 3% nationwide.

After completing his chief year of neurosurgical residency at Vanderbilt in 2013, Dr. Forbes went on to fulfill a 4-year commitment with the U.S. Air Force that included a 6-month deployment to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. Humanitarian care he provided at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital in Bagram has been featured in numerous neurosurgical journals—including Journal of Neurosurgery, World Neurosurgery and Neurosurgical Focus—and recognized on a national level by the USAF as part of the “Through Airmen’s Eyes” series. After honorable discharge from the military, he completed a minimally-invasive skull base fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City under the guidance of Dr. Theodore Schwartz prior to joining the UC Department of Neurosurgery. To date, Dr. Forbes has contributed to over 40 peer-reviewed publications.

✍️ Day 20: 40 Days of Thankfulness

I hope I’m not jinxing myself but today I am thankful that I haven’t had any migraines for a while.

 

It’s not “just” not having migraines, but the fact that, should I get one, there’s nothing I can do about them anymore.

 

I used to get migraines quite often, a hormone thing probably. I spent lots of hours in a completely dark room, blocking out sound, trying to keep my head from pounding.

 

There was a long period of time that I had a migraine 6 days out of the week for several weeks. By accident, a friend asked me on a Monday if I had one that day and that started me thinking – why do I have them every day except Mondays? I figured out that it wasn’t a migraine at all but an allergy headache – I was allergic to the bath oil I was using Monday-Saturday. I gave that to my Mom and those headaches went away.

 

I still often get allergy headaches. Since my Cushing’s transsphenoidal pituitary surgery, I can’t smell things very well and I often don’t know if there’s a scent that is going to trigger an allergic reaction. In church and elsewhere, my Mom will be my “Royal Sniffer” and if someone is wearing perfume or something scented, she’ll let me know and we’ll move to a new location.

 

There’s a double whammy here – since my kidney cancer surgery, my doctor won’t let me take NSAIDs, aspirin, Tylenol, any of the meds that might help a headache go away. If I absolutely MUST take something, it has to be a small amount of Tylenol only. My only hope would be that coffee from Day Thirteen. And that’s definitely not usually enough to get rid of one of these monsters.

 

So, I am very thankful that, for the moment, I am headache/migraine free!

 

Adapted from

📞 Webinar: Preserving Function in Pituitary Surgery

Presented By

Daniel Prevedello, MD

Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Director, Minimally Invasive Cranial Surgery Program
Co-Director, Comprehensive Skull Base Center at The James
Director, Pituitary Surgery Program
The Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University

After registering you will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar.

Contact us at webinar@pituitary.org with any questions or suggestions.

Date: May 8, 2018

Time: 3:00 – 4:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 6:00 – 7:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Webinar Information:

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of gland function preservation during pituitary surgery.
  • Understand the importance of preserving nose function related to the approach.
  • Understand the importance of team work in pituitary surgery

Presenter Bio

Dr. Prevedello is a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery, and the director for the Minimally Invasive Cranial Surgery Program. He is one of only a few neurosurgeons in the world who have performed more than 1,000 Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA) cases. EEA is a minimally invasive surgery technique that gives surgeons access to the base of the skull, intracranial cavity and top of the spine by operating through the nose and paranasal sinuses. Dr. Prevedello was rated in the top 10 percent of physicians in the nation for patient satisfaction in 2016 and 2017.

Dr. Prevedello’s current research focus is on developing minimally invasive approaches to the brain and skull base that will result in the best surgical tumor resection possible with the least amount of disruption to normal tissue. Finding a patient treatment option that reduces the amount of long-term consequences for patients and their families is always his top priority.

Dr. Prevedello’s medical journey began in Brazil, where he attended medical school and finished his residency in 2005. He completed fellowships in neuroendocrine and pituitary surgery at the University of Virginia, and another in skull base and cerebrovascular surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

🎤 Robin (staticnrg) and Mary O’Connor (MaryO) Discussed Spreading the Word about Cushing’s

 

Part 1. Robin and MaryO discussed the role of blogs in helping to spread the word about Cushing’s. They also discussed popular doctor blogs and other topics of interest to Cushing’s Patients.

Listen at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cushingshelp/2008/08/21/tentative-interview-with-joselle

 

Part 2.  Robin and MaryO discuss the role of blogs in helping to spread the word about Cushing’s. They also discuss popular doctor blogs and other topics of interest to Cushing’s Patients, friends and family.

Listen at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cushingshelp/2008/09/25/robin-staticnrg-and-mary-oconnor-maryo-discuss-spreading-the-word-about-cushings-part-2

 

Would you like to participate? Just click here and tell me a bit about yourself. Then check the box that you would like to be interviewed. We’d love to have you!

 

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🦓 Day 25: Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2018

Over the years, we went on several Windjammer Barefoot Cruises.  We liked them because they were small, casual and were fairly easy on the wallet.

They sailed around the Caribbean to a variety of islands, although they sometimes changed itineraries depending on weather, crew, whatever.  One trip we were supposed to go to Saba but couldn’t make port.  A lot of people got off at the next port and flew home.

The captains were prone to “Bedtime Stories” which were often more fiction than true but they added to the appeal of the trip.  We didn’t care if we missed islands or not – we were just there to sail over the waves and enjoy the ride.

The last trip we took with them was about two years before I started having Cushing’s problems.  (You wondered how I was going to tie this together, right?)

The cruise was uneventful, other than the usual mishaps like hitting docks, missing islands and so on.  Until it was a particularly rough sea one day.  I was walking somewhere on deck and suddenly a wave came up over the deck making it very slippery.  I fell and cracked the back of my head on the curved edge of a table in the dining area.  I had the next-to-the-worse headache I have ever had, the worst being after my pituitary surgery. At least after the surgery, I got some morphine.

We asked several doctors later if that hit could have contributed to my Cushing’s but doctors didn’t want to get involved in that at all.

The Windjammer folks didn’t fare much better, either. In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch was responsible for the loss of the s/v Fantome (the last one we were on).

All 31 crew members aboard perished; passengers and other crew members had earlier been offloaded in Belize.

The story was recorded in the book The Ship and the Storm: Hurricane Mitch and the Loss of the Fantome by Jim Carrier.  The ship, which was sailing in the center of the hurricane, experienced up to 50-foot (15 m) waves and over 100 mph (160 km/h) winds, causing the Fantome to founder off the coast of Honduras.

This event was similar to the Perfect Storm in that the weather people were more interested in watching the hurricane change directions than they were in people who were dealing with its effects.

I read this book and I was really moved by the plight of those crew members.

I’ll never know if that hit on my head contributed to my Cushing’s but I have seen several people mention on the message boards that they had a traumatic head injury of some type in their earlier lives.

🎤 Archived Interview with Heather S, Pituitary Cushing’s Survivor

 

Heather, pituitary surgery on January 18, 2006 after years of medical problems, June 5, 7:30PM

 

Listen at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cushingshelp/2008/06/05/interview-with-heather-s-pituitary-cushings-survivor

 

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⁉️ Myths and Facts about Cushing’s: “Each Person Requires the Same Dose of Steroid in Order to Survive…”

Myth: “Each person requires the same dose of steroid in order to survive with Secondary or Primary Adrenal Insufficiency”

myth-busted

Fact: In simple terms, Adrenal Insufficiency occurs when the body does not have enough cortisol in it. You see, cortisol is life sustaining and we actually do need cortisol to survive. You have probably seen the commercials about “getting rid of extra belly fat” by lowering your cortisol. These advertisements make it hard for people to actually understand the importance of the function of cortisol.

After a Cushing’s patient has surgery, he/she goes from having very high levels of cortisol to no cortisol at all. For pituitary patients, the pituitary, in theory, should start working eventually again and cause the adrenal glands to produce enough cortisol. However, in many cases; the pituitary gland does not resume normal functioning and leaves a person adrenally insufficient. The first year after pit surgery is spent trying to get that hormone to regulate on its own normally again. For a patient who has had a Bilateral Adrenalectomy (BLA), where both adrenal glands are removed as a last resort to “cure” Cushing’s; his/her body will not produce cortisol at all for his/her life. This causes Primary Adrenal Insufficiency.

All Cushing’s patients spend time after surgery adjusting medications and weaning slowly from steroid (cortisol) to get the body to a maintenance dose, which is the dose that a “normal” body produces. This process can be a very long one. Once on maintenance, a patient’s job is not over. He/She has to learn what situations require even more cortisol. You see, cortisol is the stress hormone and also known as the Fight or Flight hormone. Its function is to help a person respond effectively to stress and cortisol helps the body compensate for both physical and emotional stress. So, when faced with a stressor, the body will produce 10X the baseline levels in order to compensate. When a person can not produce adequate amounts of cortisol to compensate, we call that Adrenal Insufficiency. If it gets to the point of an “Adrenal Crisis”, this means that the body can no longer deal and will go into shock unless introduced to extremely high levels of cortisol, usually administered through an emergency shot of steroid.

There are ways to help prevent a crisis, by taking more steroid than the maintenance dose during times of stress. This can be anything from going to a family function (good stress counts too) to fighting an infection or illness. Acute stressors such as getting into a car accident or sometimes even having a really bad fight require more cortisol as well.

It was once believed that everyone responded to every stressor in the exact same way. So, there are general guidelines about how much more cortisol to introduce to the body during certain stressors. For instance, during infection, a patient should take 2-3X the maintenance dose of steroid (cortisol). Also, even the maintenance dose was considered the same for everyone. Now a days, most doctors will say that 20 mg of Hydrocortisone (Steroid/Cortisol) is the appropriate maintenance dose for EVERYONE. Now, we know that neither is necessarily true. Although the required maintenance dose is about the same for everyone; some patients require less and some require more. I have friends who will go into an adrenal crisis if they take LESS than 30 mg of daily steroid. On the other hand, 30 mg may be way too much for some and those folks may even require LESS daily steroid, like 15 mg. Also, I want to stress (no pun intended) that different stressors affect different people differently. For some, for instance, an acute scare may not affect them. However, for others, receiving bad news or being in shock WILL put their bodies into crisis. That person must then figure out how much additional steroid is needed.

Each situation is different and each time may be different. Depending on the stressor, a person may need just a little more cortisol or a lot. Every person must, therefore, learn their own bodies when dealing with Adrenal Insufficiency. This is VERY important! I learned this the hard way. As a Clinical Psychologist; I assumed that my “coping skills” would be enough to prevent a stressor from putting me into crisis. That was FAR from the truth! I have learned that I can not necessarily prevent my body’s physiological response to stress. People often ask me, “BUT you are a psychologist! Shouldn’t you be able to deal with stress?!!!!” What they don’t realize is that my BODY is the one that has to do the job of compensating. Since my body can not produce cortisol at all, my job is to pay close attention to it so that I can take enough steroid to respond to any given situation. We all have to do that. We all have to learn our own bodies. This is vitally important and will save our lives!

To those we have lost in our community to Adrenal Insufficiency after treatment of Cushing’s, Rest in Peace my friends! Your legacies live on forever!

~ By Karen Ternier Thames