Atlantic Neurosurgical Specialists (ANS) Educates Patients on Pituitary Tumors

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Dr. Yaron Moshel and ANS Discuss How to Recognize the Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors


Pituitary tumors can be difficult to diagnose,” says Moshel. “Often, these tumors do not show themselves until they become large and start to affect neighboring areas.

Did you know pituitary tumors affect 15-20% of adults, and are caused by an abnormal growth of cells? How would you know you are suffering from one? Joe Lagitch, 71, of Parsippany has never been sick. His wife, Betty, a retired nurse, says she was surprised when her husband started to complain of headaches, but shrugged it off as a simple sinus infection. Two days later, Joe’s pain was still lingering and the side effects of his headache were progressively worse. Joe’s wife explains that his condition was concerning, “He lacked balance, suffered from double vision, and one of his pupils was dilated, while the other was fixed and constricted. I knew we had to get him to the hospital.” After being rushed to the emergency room and undergoing numerous tests, Dr. Yaron Moshel, an ANS neurosurgeon, discovered Joe had a large, bleeding pituitary tumor, also called a pituitary apoplexy. An operation was necessary within 48 hours.

The pituitary gland, found just below the brain and above the nasal passage, is controlled by the hypothalamus; a regulatory system for the body’s basic functions. A pituitary gland has two lobes; a front lobe and a back lobe. Each lobe is responsible for releasing specific hormones to the bloodstream. Pituitary tumors are usually benign, but can cause a fluctuation in hormones (hypo- or hypersecretion), causing significant health problems due to the close proximity of the brain and optic nerve.

“Mr. Lagitch suffered from a nonsecreting pituitary tumor,” states Dr. Yaron Moshel, an ANS neurosurgeon who is nationally recognized for his approach to removing deep-seated brain tumors. “Pituitary tumors can be difficult to diagnose,” says Moshel. “Often, these tumors do not show themselves until they become large and start to affect neighboring areas.”

While there are many different types of pituitary tumors and side effects can vary, some
of the most common symptoms can include:

  •     Headache
  •     Vision loss or double vision
  •     Symptoms of pituitary hormone deficiency
  •     Weakness
  •     Nausea and vomiting
  •     Less frequent or no menstrual periods
  •     Increased frequency and amount of urination
  •     Sexual dysfunction
  •     Unintended weight loss or gain
  •     Loss of body hair

Treatment options vary, but in Joe’s case, a surgical intervention was necessary. Dr. Moshel removed Joe’s tumor by performing a minimally invasive procedure called endonasal endoscopic surgery, a surgery performed through the nose and sinuses. This type of surgery has advantages, including less pain, no scarring on the face, and faster recovery time. This procedure is ideal for removing difficult to reach tumors, and also allows for immediate radiation therapy if needed.

Following his surgery, Mr. Lagitch immediately felt better. “I have two heroes to thank,” says Mr. Lagitch. “First, my wife, for knowing to look into my eyes and see there was something terribly wrong with me, and Dr. Moshel, it was a miracle he was my doctor. He is one of a kind.”

For more information about ANS or Dr. Moshel, visit or call 973.285.7800.

Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) is the largest private neurosurgical practice in NJ, and is affiliated with leading hospitals and health care systems. ANS is proud to offer our patients access to treatments and programs unique to our practice, like our advanced team of neurosurgeons who specialize in the removal of pituitary tumors and our Partnership of Hope program, a support group for patients and their loved ones suffering from brain tumors.

For more information about ANS and Dr. Moshel, visit or call 973.285.7800.

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Hayley Cuccolo
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