Episode 4 - Pituitary Tumour Removal
has a tumour in her pituitary gland, right at the base of her brain. The pituitary gland is the body's hormone control centre and the tumour
is causing her body to secrete an excess of growth hormones. Christine's lips
have swollen and her shoe size has increased from a size six to a size eight.
If the tumour isn’t removed, the muscles in her heart could grow as well, which would choke blood flow and increase the risk of a stroke.
Even though this is brain surgery Christine won't need to have her skull cracked open. Surgeon Nick Thomas uses an
endoscope, which he inserts up Susan's right nostril and then pushes it through air pockets in the sinuses towards her pituitary.
He removes a thin layer of bone and finally peels away a layer of protective tissue
to gain access to the pituitary gland. Once he has found the tumour Nick removes
as much of it as possible. He doesn't use a normal scalpel, but a surgical aspirator, which
breaks down the tumour tissue by sending out ultrasound waves, and then vacuums