Craniopharyngiomas are tumors near the pituitary gland in the brain and can affect both adults and children. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we believe it’s critical to weigh the effectiveness of a therapy today against its potential effects many years later. Therefore, we create a treatment plan that is focused on your present challenges as well as your future wellbeing.
Our Approach to Treating Craniopharyngiomas
Brain Tumor Surgery
Surgical Treatment. The goal of surgery for a craniopharyngioma is to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging nearby structures or causing nervous system damage. Surgery may be complicated depending on how the tumor invades healthy brain tissue. Removing the entire tumor may cause permanent damage, but leaving some of a tumor behind increases the risk of its recurrence. Our expert neurosurgeons remove as much of your tumor as possible, without injuring the sensitive area around it.
Minimally invasive treatment
Our team of surgeons is a leader in skull base surgery, using endoscopes passed through the nostrils to remove pituitary tumors, chordomas, and other tumors at the base of the skull, an area that in the past has been considered inoperable.
Our neurosurgeons work closely with our radiation oncologists to explore all of your treatment options. We may use highly targeted beams of radiation as an alternative to surgery or we may give radiation after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Some of our patients receive stereotactic radiosurgery, which involves the use of a highly focused beam of radiation to target tumor cells while leaving surrounding brain tissue unaffected.
Long-Term Hormone Treatments
Some patients may need long-term hormone treatments after craniopharyngioma surgery, but most return to full and active lives after therapy. We'll also follow you periodically with MRI or CT scans to see if your tumor comes back, and treat it promptly if it does.