The use of the transseptal transsphenoidal approach to the pituitary gland has gained acceptance as a safe, relatively atraumatic means of removing pituitary tumors. The outcome in adult patients has been successful; however, the outcome in pediatric patients whose noses may still be developing is not well described. We reviewed the outcomes in 41 patients younger than age 18 years who underwent transseptal transsphenoidal pituitary surgery at our institution between 1986 and 1997 (20 boys and 21 girls; age, 3 to 17 years; mean age, 13.4 years). The most common diagnosis was prolactin-secreting adenoma (14 patients), followed by craniopharyngioma (7 patients). Presenting symptoms included headache (20 patients), galactorrhea (13 patients), and menstrual irregularities (11 patients). The most common early complication was transient diabetes insipidus (20 patients). No patient experienced serious bleeding at pack removal and no patient developed a cerebrospinal fluid leak postoperatively. Follow-up ranged from 3 months to 12.7 years, with 7 patients experiencing recurrent or residual disease between 6 days and 2 years after their original transseptal procedure. The most common long-term surgical complication was nasal obstruction in 5 patients, 3 of whom also complained of seasonal allergies. Four patients complained of recurrent sinus infections, and 4 patients noted an external nasal deformity as a result of the surgery.
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