Treating Acromegaly

Acromegaly Treatment Goals

The goals of acromegaly treatment include:

  • Removing or decreasing the size of the pituitary tumor
  • Lowering growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels
  • Lessening symptoms and the risk of serious health conditions

You may have heard your doctor use the term "biochemical control" when talking about treatment goals. Biochemical control means lowering your GH and IGF-1 to normal levels. Ask your doctor about your goal numbers for reaching biochemical control.

Acromegaly Treatment Options

When it comes to acromegaly treatment, there are options. You should learn about each option and discuss them with your doctor to decide on the acromegaly treatment plan best suited for you.

  • Surgery: Your doctor may choose to perform a type of operation called transsphenoidal surgery. The goal of transsphenoidal surgery is to remove the tumor, resulting in tumor-related symptom relief and lowering GH and IGF-1 levels to normal.
  • Medical Therapy: If surgery is unsuccessful or if you are unable to have surgery, there are different types of medications your doctor can choose to treat you with. Ask your doctor about medical therapy options that may be right for you.
  • Radiation: This is an option when surgery and medical therapy have failed. Radiation can slowly shrink the tumor and reduce GH and IGF-1 levels.

Managing Acromegaly After Surgery

Up to half of the people who have surgery will need further treatment to manage their acromegaly.

It is important to stick to a close follow-up schedule with your doctor after surgery to watch your GH and IGF-1 levels. If you start to experience symptoms of acromegaly after surgery, tell your doctor immediately.

What Treatment Is Right for You?

Everyone responds to treatment differently, so you and your healthcare professional should work together to determine which treatment option or combination of approaches is right for you.

Talk to your doctor, and ask about how best to manage your acromegaly.

Surgery is not an option for everyone, and surgery to remove a pituitary tumor does not always cure acromegaly.