Emory Pituitary Center
Conditions We Treat

Comprehensive Care for Pituitary Tumors and Other Pituitary Disorders

A tumor causes most pituitary disorders, and most of these tumors are benign or noncancerous. We’re not sure what causes pituitary tumors. But if you’re diagnosed with one, the Emory Pituitary Center is here to help.

Sometimes, we find a pituitary tumor by chance. This might be the case if you undergo an imaging test, such as an MRI or CT scan, for an unrelated reason. Some of these tumors never cause symptoms or need treatment. But others can grow large enough to compress your pituitary gland and affect how it functions. Symptoms may also result if a tumor presses on important structures in your brain, such as your optic nerve, or if it secretes hormones. Hormone-secreting tumors are known as functional tumors. They may be diagnosed with blood or urine tests. Tumors that don’t secret hormones are called nonfunctional tumors.

We offer a full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments to address all pituitary conditions. Among the most common are:


Acromegaly results when a pituitary tumor produces excess growth hormone. It may go unnoticed for many years. But when symptoms develop, they may include: 

  • Coarse facial features 
  • Enlarged hands and feet 
  • Excess sweating 
  • Heart and liver problems 
  • High blood sugar
  • Joint pain 

Surgery is the primary treatment. Radiation therapy or medication to lower growth hormone levels is also common.


Craniopharyngiomas are slow-growing, noncancerous tumors. They form near the pituitary gland. Symptoms may include: 

  • Balance issues 
  • Headache 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Increased urination 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision problems 

Surgery, sometimes followed by radiation therapy and medication, is the usual treatment. 

Crushing's Disease

Cushing’s disease occurs when there are high cortisol levels in your blood. This is a result of a pituitary tumor that secretes excessive amounts of adrenocorticotropic hormone, also known as ACTH. Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bone weakening
  • Bruising
  • Facial roundness
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Muscle weakness
  • Progressive weight gain and excess fat accumulation in certain areas of the body
  • Stretch marks
  • Thinning of the arms and legs

Surgery is the usual treatment and may cure Cushing’s disease. Radiation therapy may be an option if surgery is not effective.


Prolactinomas are tumors that secrete prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone that helps mothers breastfeed after pregnancy. 

Common symptoms of prolactinoma in women include: 

  • Infertility
  • Lack of menstrual periods or irregular periods
  • Milky nipple discharge 

Common symptoms of prolactinoma in men include: 

  • Breast growth 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Low sex drive 
  • Low sperm count 
  • Milky nipple discharge 

Medication that shrinks the tumor is the usual treatment for prolactinomas. Some of these tumors may require surgery.

Learn More

To learn more about pituitary tumors and conditions, please visit the following: 

American Brain Tumor Association 
Brain Tumor Foundation 
Pituitary Network Association

Request an Appointment

The multidisciplinary team of specialists at the Emory Pituitary Center has the expertise, advanced technology, and compassion to treat all types of pituitary conditions. For more information about the Center or to schedule an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.