Nurse Practitioner Deborah Shepherd Talks to ABC 15 About Treating Patients with Pituitary Tumors


Barrow Nurse Practitioner Deborah Shepherd Appears on Sonoran Living TV

October is Pituitary Awareness Month, an ideal time for Barrow Brain and Spine Nurse Practitioner Deborah Shepherd to enlighten ABC 15 Sonoran Living TV viewers about Barrow’s expertise in treating patients with pituitary tumors.

Watch the full Sonoran Living TV segment HERE and learn more below about how Barrow is leading the charge as a top center for pituitary tumor treatment:

In her role as a nurse practitioner at Barrow, Deborah works alongside the neurosurgery team to help treat patients with pituitary tumors and disorders. This includes assisting renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Andrew Little in Barrow’s Pituitary Clinic, participating in pre-and post-surgery pituitary tumor consultations with patients, providing one-on-one patient education, and assisting in surgeries to remove pituitary tumors in patients. Deborah loves that she is able to help play a key role in providing complete care for Barrow Brain and Spine patients, so that they truly understand their treatment and options every step of the way.

FAQ About Pituitary Tumors and Treatment:

What is a pituitary tumor and how common are they? Approximately 10-20% of the population has some type of pituitary brain tumor. Think of the pituitary gland as the “command center” for the body, or a “master hormone gland.” It is tiny (about the size of a pea) and sits at the base of the brain. Proper function of the pituitary gland is essential for regulating hormones.

Symptoms of pituitary tumor to watch out for: The symptoms aren’t always obvious so Barrow recommends that patients visit their healthcare provider regularly for health maintenance. Your doctor may identify certain issues, prompting further evaluation of hormones, which could indicate pituitary issues.  Vision checks are also critical for identifying pituitary tumors. Certain visual deficits in adults can occasionally signal a pituitary tumor or disorder. If some of these “red flags” occur, your doctor will likely refer you to a leading center such as Barrow Brain and Spine for further consultation and testing.  It’s important to seek help because although many pituitary tumors aren’t cancerous, they can impact your overall quality of life, potentially causing vision, hormone and nerve issues.

What sets Barrow apart as a leading center for pituitary tumor treatment? Patients typically come in with misperceptions about pituitary issues that they may have received from other health care providers. Barrow has so much collective experience in terms of research and hands-on clinical experience that the team can confidently help provide guidance for patients based on the most up-to-date information when it comes to pituitary care and treatment — with great outcomes for patients! Barrow also continues to make advancements in surgery, employing minimally invasive techniques to remove pituitary tumors where patients are generally home within 1-2 days of surgery.


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