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Acromegaly

Treatment

Your doctor will work with you to come up with the best treatment plan, taking into account your age, health, and how far along your condition is.

There are three ways to treat acromegaly:

Surgery is often the first treatment for people with large tumors affecting vital areas, and it works well for most people. The surgeon will remove the tumor from the base of the brain. To get to it, they'll make a small cut in your nose or the inside of your upper lip. In some cases, your doctor may have you take medicine before the surgery to shrink the tumor.

After the surgery, your symptoms may start to get better after only a few days. Your doctor may recommend taking one of these medicines after surgery to help control or cure the disease and bring growth hormone levels back to normal:  

Those drugs either lower the level of growth hormone in your blood or block the effects it has on your body.

Radiation helps if you have parts of a tumor left after surgery, or if you need more help reducing growth hormone levels after taking medicine. It can help stop the tumor from growing and your body from making too much growth hormone.

Taking Care of Yourself

When you get diagnosed with a condition like acromegaly, it can help to connect with other people who have it. Ask your doctor if there are local support groups, or consider joining an online support group. If you think it would be helpful to talk with a counselor, your doctor can give you a referral.

Let your family and friends know what they can do to support you. They'll want to help, but they may not know what to offer, so be specific about what you would find helpful.

What to Expect

Your particular experience with acromegaly will depend on how the condition has affected you. Work closely with your doctor so you understand your options and what you can expect as your treatment moves forward. Ask your doctor questions, and let them know how you're doing and what you're concerned about.

Getting Support

To learn more about acromegaly, visit the Acromegaly web site of the Pituitary Network Association. You can get information there about joining a support group near you.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on May 06, 2014

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