Overview

Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a condition caused by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland that results in the body's excessive production of growth hormone. Growth hormone is essential during puberty and is responsible for growth spurts. But after puberty, growth hormone production ordinarily drops to very low levels.

The condition causes abnormal growth in adults and what's called "gigantism" in children, who have not yet reached puberty, causing them to grow abnormally large.

Our Approach to Acromegaly

UCSF offers highly specialized, world-class care for pituitary disorders, such as acromegaly. Our team includes experts in neuroendocrinology, neurosurgery and radiation therapy, among other specialties.

The primary treatment for acromegaly is to remove the noncancerous pituitary tumor that is producing the excess growth hormone. UCSF surgeons developed and refined many of the standard surgical techniques for removing pituitary tumors, and we use a technique pioneered here, called the transsphenoidal approach, in which neurosurgeons guide instruments through the nose to reach the pituitary gland. This approach is safer than traditional surgery and leaves no scars. UCSF has more experience with this procedure than any other program in the nation and has a record of excellent outcomes.

If the tumor can't be removed completely because it has grown into surrounding tissues, radiation therapy or medication can normalize growth hormone levels for many patients.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Best in the West for neurology and neurosurgery

  • n3-2x

    Ranked No. 3 in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery

  • usnews-diabetes-and-endocrinology

    Best on the West Coast for diabetes and endocrinology

  • n6-2x

    Ranked No. 3 in the nation for diabetes and endocrinology

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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