Brain Tumor Treatment

UBNS specializes in treating brain tumors in both children and adults. As with all tumors, early diagnosis and treatment is of the utmost importance.

Brain tumors compress and invade crucial brain structures as they grow, giving rise to progressive neurological disturbances. Early signs of a brain tumor should be suspected whenever a patient presents with slowly evolving neurological signs and symptoms, particularly those itemized below:

  • Intense headaches, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting or worse in the morning
  • Seizures of recent onset, generalized or focal
  • Personality changes, mental sluggishness or memory loss
  • Visual complaints, such as blurred or double vision, or an enlarged blind spot
  • Hearing loss
  • Lack of coordination or localized physical weakness
  • “Stroke-like” symptoms—particularly in the elderly
  • Increasing head size (in children)

Sometimes, tumors may not become noticeable until after they bleed or when they reach a large size, often depending on their rate of growth.

Pituitary Tumors

Tumors that arise in the pituitary gland are very commonly benign in character. Nevertheless, they may cause serious neurological symptoms by compressing nerves that are critical for vision. In addition, invasion of local structures around the pituitary gland can make complete removal difficult or impossible.

Pituitary tumors can also affect the patient’s general physical well-being by altering the balance of hormones in the body. This can occur as a result of excessive production of certain hormones by the tumor itself or by compression of the normal gland by the tumor with resulting underproduction of pituitary hormones. This, in turn, can lead to overproduction or deficiencies in the production of hormones by the thyroid and adrenal glands, and by the ovaries and testes.

Some symptoms of a pituitary tumor include:

  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Diminished peripheral vision
  • Severe fatigue
  • Excessive thirst combined with frequent urination
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Milk production from the breasts when not pregnant
  • Loss of normal menstrual periods
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Impotence
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Progressive coarsening of facial features
  • Excessive sweating
  • Steady increase in glove or shoe size

Pituitary tumors are best diagnosed using a MRI scan and specific blood tests of pituitary hormone levels.

Although medication can be used to treat certain pituitary tumors, surgery is frequently required. The typical pituitary tumor is removed by way of a “transsphenoidal” operation. In this minimally invasive procedure, surgery is performed through one nostril using a microscope and without the need for any externally visible incisions. Certain other pituitary tumors may be treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery or with conventional radiation therapy.

Meet Our Physicians

Elad I. Levy


Clinical Team

Neuroendovascular & Stroke

Gregory J. Castiglia


Clinical Team

Spine & Skull Base Disorders

Jason M. Davies


Clinical Team

Minimally Invasive Brain Endoscopy

Neuroendovascular & Stroke

John G. Fahrbach


Clinical Team

Spine & Skull Base Disorders

WNY Locations

  • Dunkirk

  • John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital

  • Erie County Medical Center

  • Buffalo General Medical Center

  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Gates Vascular Institute

  • Summit Park Office Complex

  • Oishei Children’s Outpatient Center

  • Brook Bridge Medical Complex

  • Conventus Building

  • Comprehensive Neuroscience Center

Surgical Locations:  Sisters of Charity Hospital, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Kenmore Mercy Hospital

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Publications | August 18, 2023

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Association of Area Deprivation Index (ADI) with Demographics and Postoperative Outcomes in Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients

In the News | January 23, 2017

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Dr. Davies awarded the UB CTSA KL2 grant

The KL2 Research Career Development Program supports state-of-the-art clinical and translational research and provides young investigators with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform high-impact research and succeed in today’s highly competitive research environment.  

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Meet Dr. Levy | Chairman of UB Neurosurgery

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