Pituitary Tumor Program

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is home to one of the only comprehensive treatment programs in New Jersey for tumors of the pituitary gland. The Pituitary Tumor Program is the busiest in New Jersey, evaluating and treating more than 50 of these rare tumors annually. Less than 5% of hospitals nationwide perform this number of pituitary surgeries.

These unique tumors require a team approach due to their varied impact on the brain and body. Depending on the type of pituitary tumor, patients may be a candidate for surgery, radiation, medication, or even observation. The Pituitary Tumor Program brings together expert team members to cover all of the possible treatment options at one convenient location in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  

Dr. Hanft Recognized by the Pituitary Network Association

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Our Pituitary Tumor Specialists

Led by Simon Hanft, MD, neurosurgeon and Director of Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery, the Pituitary Tumor Program consists of a group of specialists who have considerable experience in this field and collaborate on the care of patients.

Meet our Team

Simon Hanft, MD
Simon Hanft, MD
Neurosurgeon and Director,
Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery
Surgical Director, Pituitary Tumor Program


Sara Lubitz, MD
Sara Lubitz, MD
Medical Director, Pituitary Tumor Program


Gaurav Gupta, MD
Endovascular Neurosurgery, Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling (IPSS)


Michael S. Goldrich, MD
Otolaryngology/ENT, Endoscopic Approach Surgeon

For those tumors that warrant medical treatment only, Sara Lubitz, MD, is the medical director of the Pituitary Tumor Program and is an endocrinologist with extensive background in this field. Dr. Lubitz and her team are always involved in the post-operative management of patients with pituitary tumors due to potential endocrine issues that may develop before or after the operation.

What is an Endoscope? How is endoscopic pituitary surgery done?

The surgery for pituitary tumors is nearly always performed through the nose, using a small, high-definition camera known as the endoscope. This device allows the surgeons to access even large and complicated pituitary tumors without having to perform large openings through the skull. The images from the endoscope are displayed to the surgeons in the operating room, thus enabling them to safely identify and remove the tumor away from the important surrounding structures.

Advantages of Endoscopic Pituitary Surgery

Using the endoscope has revolutionized the surgical treatment of pituitary tumors. In endoscopic pituitary surgery, the neurosurgeons have the ability to see and remove tumors in otherwise difficult to reach areas with extremely precise movements. Because the endoscope is inserted through the nostril, there is no facial incision, no visible scar and fewer side effects. 

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

In certain cases we offer Gamma Knife radiosurgery for the tumors – a non-invasive form of focused radiation that can selectively target these tumors while sparing nearby critical tissue. This incision-less approach is done on an outpatient basis.  Dr. Hanft and a team of radiation oncologists collaborate on these treatment plans using the Gamma Knife Icon platform in conjunction with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, one of less than ten institutions in the country using this cutting-edge technology.

Conditions We Treat

Pituitary conditions we treat include:

  • Acromegaly
  • Apoplexy
  • Cushing's disease
  • Pituitary macroadenomas
  • Pituitary microadenomas
  • Prolactinoma
  • Rathke's cleft cyst
  • TSHoma

Cushing’s Disease: Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling

Cushing’s disease is a complicated medical condition caused by a pituitary tumor that oversecretes the hormone ACTH. This leads to a number of symptoms, including high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and depression. Interestingly, Cushing’s disease can be very difficult to diagnose, as many times the symptoms can be severe yet the brain MRI fails to detect a pituitary tumor because it can be extremely small. In these cases, we offer a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure known as inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS). We are the only institution in New Jersey with the capability to offer IPSS as it can be technically demanding, but the results often establish definitively whether a patient has a pituitary source of their symptoms. Dr. Gaurav Gupta, our endovascular neurosurgeon, is the specialist for IPSS and therefore an integral part of the Pituitary Tumor Program for these challenging cases. If you are an endocrinologist with a patient who is a candidate for IPSS, or a patient seeking this procedure based on the recommendations of a physician, please reach out to us. To make an appointment, please call 732-235-6333 or 732-235-8515.


pituitary surgery videos

Surgeons at the Pituitary Tumor Program use an endoscope, a narrow tubular instrument that is only 4 mm in diameter. The endoscope is inserted through the nostril and provides a high resolution, magnified view of the tumor and surrounding important structures. Special microsurgical instruments are used along with the endoscope for dissection and removal of the tumor. The endoscopic pituitary surgery approach requires special training and a teamwork approach between an endoscopic sinus (head and neck) surgeon and a neurosurgeon. 

Video: Simon Hanft, MD, Neurosurgeon and Director, Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery and Surgical Director, Pituitary Tumor Program, describes the procedure to remove a pituitary tumor

Video: Simon Hanft, MD, Neurosurgeon and Director, Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery and Surgical Director, Pituitary Tumor Program, describes the second part of a procedure to remove a pituitary tumor

Video: Simon Hanft, MD, Neurosurgeon and Director, Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Surgery and Surgical Director, Pituitary Tumor Program, gives an overview of the procedure to remove a pituitary tumor

Trans-sphenoidal Post-Operative Instructions

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