April 18, 2011 - PHOENIX - Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix restore a man's vision after removing a brain tumor the size of a golf ball and they did the entire surgery through his nose!
"I felt very blessed and lucky," says Ed Bull, who woke up 5 months ago with a splitting headache and trouble seeing. "It was very blurry I was seeing double and not seeing very well."
He was rushed to Barrow and found out he had a brain tumor on his pituitary gland.
"Bleeding suddenly occurred into the tumor in the pituitary gland, and that bleeding causes significant increase in pressure inside the pituitary gland and optic nerves," says Dr. Andrew Little from the Barrow Neurological Institute.
He had emergency surgery through the nose. Doctors removed the tumor and restored his sight, and thankfully life is back to normal.
"When this happens if you don't deal with it and deal with it very quickly, you could go blind or worse," says Bull.
Barrow Neurological says 1 in 10 people have a tumor on the pituitary gland, but they rarely cause a problem.
"Most of the time pituitary tumor symptoms come on very slowly so most patients don't really notice a change until a friend or someone hasn't seen them in some time notices something different," says Dr. Little.
Symptoms to look out for nausea, weight change, loss of appetite, fatigue, joint pain, increase in shoe or ring size, and high blood pressure.
If you are ever in this situation the best thing to do is call your primary care doctor. The tumor can be detected in an MRI but time really does play a role -- the quicker you respond, the better.