CEENTA and CNSA patient with a pituitary gland tumor

At CEENTA, our physicians treat patients with a litany of eye and ENT-related issues through various stages in their lives. However, what happens when we have a patient who is on the cusp of parenthood?

Her Dilemma

Meet Alexis, a 30-year-old expecting mother who was facing recurring and severe headaches before the birth of her child. After visiting her OBGYN to see if it was a pregnancy symptom, she received an MRI in February to determine the cause. The result was a mass located on her pituitary gland, but with uncertainty about what it was.

Her Team of Doctors

During Alexis’ search for answers, she was seen by three physicians in the Charlotte area:

Further analysis showed that it was a an aggressive expansion of a pituitary gland tumor. Dr. Parish recommended surgery, but with the caveat that they wait until after she gives birth in order to prevent any complications. When asked about her experience with Dr. Parish, Alexis said, “I felt at ease regarding the situation and the treatment plan he proposed, so I decided to stick with him.”

Given the delay, Alexis had her vision evaluated multiple times by Dr. Stewart due to the location of the tumor. “The pituitary gland sits just below the optic nerves so that any significant enlargement of the tumor can threaten the vision,” remarked Dr. Stewart. At first, her vision was not an issue until the last week of March when it began to blur in one eye, then eventually the other. “She had lost the outer portion of her peripheral vision in both eyes, which is very typical of pituitary-related vision loss,” he further elaborated.

With her vision continuing to decline, the next step was decided almost immediately.

Her Surgery

According to Dr. Parish, “We tried to wait to take tumor out until she delivered her baby, but her vision got worse. We had to get her OB to induce her.” Forty-eight hours after the birth of her child (a healthy baby boy), Alexis was taken to the operating room to remove the tumor.

A surgery of this nature requires a skilled set of experts who understand the intricate natures of the nose (one point of entry) and the skull and can also evaluate all outcomes. With fellowship training in rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery, Dr. Cappello was the perfect surgeon to take part in the procedure with Dr. Parish.

Alexis was nervous, but “When I met Dr. Capello in the operating room, he reassured me that everything was going to be fine.” Both Dr. Parish and Dr. Cappello performed the surgery on Alexis to remove the tumor.

Her Road to Recovery

Twelve hours following her surgery, Alexis was shocked at the outcome. “I was looking up at the TV in the hospital, and they had the captions on. I said, ‘Oh my goodness, I can read it.’” She continued her post-op recovery with Dr. Cappello and had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Stewart in May. “Her visual fields had completely improved with resolution of the peripheral vision problem!”

Her Happily Ever After

Both Alexis and her baby boy continue to be happy and healthy, and she is extremely thankful for her physicians. “The doctors I worked with were very knowledgeable, and it felt like they cared about me as a person and my entire family. [Going to CEENTA] you’re going to have a team of doctors that are both knowledgeable and caring, and it’s rare to find both.”

Although Alexis’ situation was, as Dr. Cappello describes it, a “one-off case,” he still recommends patients who are pregnant come to our offices for their ENT needs. “We’re happy to see patients at any part of their life, including pregnancy,” he affirms.

Learn more about CNSA’s Dr. Parish here and schedule your next appointments with Dr. Cappello in SouthPark and Dr. Stewart at our Matthews office online, through myCEENTAchart, or by calling 704-295-3000.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment with a CEENTA eye or ENT doctor, you may schedule online, through myCEENTAchart, or by calling 704-295-3000.


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