Multidirectional extension and invasive spread are important features of giant pituitary adenomas. Operability cannot be established merely by determining the size of the most prominent part of the tumour. Detailed radiological evaluation with plain films, computed tomography, angiography, and air studies all contribute to evaluation of the precise anatomy before surgery. In the final decision risks of surgical treatment must be balanced against the patient's age and prospects of long-term useful survival. Unfavourable cases for surgical treatment in our hands were those tumours embedded in the hypothalamus with thalamic and posterior extensions. Partial removal of such cases gave poor results. Where the mass proves soft, radical excision may be possible, but not otherwise. Limited biopsy for histological study, followed by a shunt procedure and x-ray therapy seems still the only recourse.
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