Pituitary tumor surgery may affect a person’s emotional and mental well-being, as well as those around them. After surgery, people may experience health fears, personality changes, or mental health issues.

Finding support groups and talking with healthcare professionals may help people cope with changes after pituitary surgery.

This article looks at life after surgery, tips for coping, and support.

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The effects of pituitary tumor surgery may have a significant impact on a person’s emotional well-being. People may have fatigue, fears over their future health, and changes in personality.

A partner or caregiver may have concerns about the person and experience difficulties dealing with personality changes or managing extra responsibilities.

Ways a partner or caregiver can help support a person after pituitary surgery may include:

  • remembering it is the tumor or treatments causing changes
  • creating a supportive environment, such as minimizing distractions
  • prioritizing self-care and seeking support

According to a 2020 study, the emotional changes people may experience with a pituitary tumor may continue after surgery. These changes include:

Other changes, such as infertility or impaired vision, may also have an emotional impact on people.

Over time, emotional well-being may improve. According to a 2019 study of 20 people, quality of life improved rapidly in the month following surgery, including fatigue and enjoyment of life.

Disturbed sleep continued for longer, but research suggests this may significantly improve within 6 to 12 months postsurgery.

If people are experiencing emotional changes, they may feel apathetic or less interested in activities they usually enjoy.

Tips for managing emotional changes may include:

  • staying physically active
  • getting outside
  • practicing gratitude
  • focusing on self-care
  • connecting with a support network
  • talking with a healthcare professional

A pituitary tumor may cause personality changes, such as:

Some people may be aware of changes, such as reduced patience, while others may not.

Personality changes may continue after surgery, or they may improve. It may depend on the cause of personality changes.

In some cases, the changes may be permanent, particularly if there is physical damage to the brain. If a tumor continues growing, it may cause further changes.

In other cases, changes may improve with recovery, or medications and psychological support may help manage changes.

Tips for coping with personality changes include:

  • talking with others who have had similar experiences
  • talking with a counselor or mental health professional
  • paying attention to other people’s reactions to gauge inappropriate behavior
  • asking a doctor about brain training to help improve functioning in some areas of the brain

According to the American Cancer Society, it is common for people to have fears that a tumor will return after having pituitary tumor surgery.

People may find it helpful to talk with other survivors of pituitary tumors, as they will have shared experiences and understand what people are going through. Many people have gone on to live full lives after having pituitary tumor surgery.

A 2022 study found that people with pituitary tumors may experience anxiety, depression, and stigma around the disease, which may continue in the first few months following surgery.

If people are having difficulty managing their mental health, it is important to seek support from a healthcare professional or organization.

Caring for a person after pituitary tumor surgery may be challenging and affect a caregiver’s relationship with that person. It can also affect their own mental and emotional well-being.

The Pituitary Foundation offers the following support and guidance to caregivers:

  • It can be common to feel frustrated, anxious, or angry, and none of these feelings make a person disloyal to the other person.
  • Caregivers may find it difficult to seek support, as they feel that all the focus needs to be on the other person, but it is important to talk with someone about how they are feeling and get support.
  • In taking care of themselves, caregivers will be better able to take care of the other person.
  • Prioritize any personal health appointments, and ask if there is additional support for carers.
  • Letting a healthcare professional know that someone is a carer can make a doctor more aware of issues they may be facing or how the role may affect their health.

People can seek support by reaching out to a healthcare professional. Many organizations offer support to caregivers, such as:

Some symptoms of pituitary tumor surgery may continue after surgery, although these may improve over time.

People may find that surgery affects their emotional or mental well-being. Talking with others with shared experiences and seeking help from healthcare professionals may help.

This section answers some frequently asked questions about personality changes after pituitary surgery.

What are the long-term effects of pituitary tumor surgery?

Some possible long-term effects or complications of pituitary tumor surgery may include:

What should I watch after pituitary tumor surgery?

After surgery, people will need to watch for possible complications, such as:

How long does it take to recover from pituitary gland surgery?

People may experience sinus headache and congestion for up to 2 weeks postsurgery.

Recovery time can vary for each person, but it may take between 1 and 6 months to return to normal activities.

Pituitary surgery may affect a person emotionally and mentally, as well as those around them.

Changes to personality and mental health may be temporary and may improve with recovery. Other changes may be longer lasting, but treatments can help manage them.