Cushing’s disease : Treatment

Treatment

Treatment involves surgery to remove the pituitary tumor, if possible. After surgery, the pituitary may slowly start to work again and return to normal.

During the recovery process, you may need cortisol replacement treatments. Radiation treatment of the pituitary gland may also be used.

If the tumor does not respond to surgery or radiation, you may get medications to stop your body from making cortisol.

If these treatments are not successful, the adrenal glands may need to be removed to stop the high levels of cortisol from being produced.

Prognosis (Expectations)

Untreated, Cushing’s disease can cause severe illness, even death. Removal of the tumor may lead to full recovery, but the tumor can grow back.

Complications

  • Compression fractures
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Psychosis

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of pituitary Cushing’s.

If you have had a pituitary tumor removed, call if you have signs of complications, including signs that the tumor has returned.


Review Date : 11/23/2009
Reviewed By : Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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