[Skip to Navigation]
July 1966

Transsphenoidal Hypophysectomy for Diabetic Retinopathy: Preliminary Study of 18 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Otolaryngology Section, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(1):77-81. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030079007

A MULTIDISCIPLINARY attack on progressive hemorrhagic diabetic retinopathy by means of pituitary surgery has yielded relief for at least some victims of the disease. This disorder now ranks second among the causes of blindness in the nation. Surgery has brought improved vision to over 60% of a series of patients exhibiting severe, progressive symptoms of the disease. This has also been the case in our preliminary study conducted over the past 3½ years.

The standard approach to the pituitary has for many years been via an anterior craniotomy, and the operation has consequently been in the hands of the neurosurgeon.1-4 While the operation was originally designed for the treatment of tumors of this gland, it has become necessary more recently to approach the normal gland in cases of inoperable carcinoma, especially in endocrine-dependent tumors with secondary painful bone metastases, such as those of the breast,5,6 ovary, or prostate,