We would like to thank Ben Spencer for his article on the Sheffield Endoscopic Pituitary and Anterior Skull Base Service.
The service has been supported by the Neurosurgical and ENT departments and is a huge team effort, including administration staff, secretaries, nurses, theatre staff, anaesthetists, endocrinologists, radiologists, surgeons and is something Sheffield can be proud of.
I remember attending a meeting and one of my colleagues compared endoscopic surgery to decorating a house through the letter box, in a humorous way which was conveyed in the report.
The nasal approach to the pituitary gland is relatively straightforward and there is often some banter, often to break the tension and to help relax us.
However, we take operating very seriously and once operating on the pituitary gland itself we are very focused, as you can imagine.
We feel that rather than any individual expertise, the real advantages of this service come from the collaboration between a neurosurgeon and ENT surgeon as well as the use of angled endoscopes that allow us to see ‘round corners’.
This, we hope, leads to better cure rates in otherwise life-limiting conditions such as acromegaly and Cushing’s syndrome; as well as a higher rate of complete tumour removal thereby avoiding patients having to undergo further operations in the future.
Speaking of the future, we are gradually aiming to do more operations through the nose that would previously have been done by a craniotomy (opening of the head) or through the face via facial incisions.
We are most grateful to ongoing support from the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Trust; as well as the charities, Neurocare, The May Hearnshaw Trust and ENT Section of the Sheffield Hospitals Charitable Trust (www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk)
Mr Showkat Mirza (consultant ENT surgeon) and Mr Saurabh Sinha (consultant neurosurgeon)