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    Sutter Children's Center, Sacramento

    Taylor - Neurosurgery to Halt Tumor

    Taylor -
    Taylor - Neurosurgery to Halt Tumor

    Kids grow fast. But what is too fast? Sara noticed 7-year-old daughter Taylor was growing at a rapid rate. So fast that she would grow out of clothes overnight and go through three shoe sizes in two months. Aware that something wasn’t right, Sara took Taylor to the pediatrician. But after two exams and a few tests, she was assured that Taylor’s health was perfect and she might just end up being over 6 feet tall once she reached adulthood.

    Sara wasn’t satisfied with that conclusion. She noticed new things about Taylor and started writing everything down. Her headaches, how fast her hair would grow and how she would be hot ... even in the winter. Sara made another appointment with her pediatrician, and this time gave him the notes of all the things she had observed. Their pediatrician referred them to a pediatric endocrinologist, who ultimately diagnosed Taylor with acromegalic gigantism, a condition that has only been documented in a few hundred people.

    Taylor’s growth hormones were measured around 126, way above the normal average of 10 to 13. Further testing showed that Taylor had a tumor that was putting pressure on the pituitary gland and producing excessive growth hormones. She was referred to Samuel Ciricillo, M.D., FACS, medical director of pediatric neurosurgery at Sutter Neuroscience Institute.

    “Dr. Ciricillo was thorough, but only told us what we needed to know, when we needed to know it,” said Sara. “He had a great way of describing things so that Taylor would understand.”

    Dr. Ciricillo suggested that Taylor would need surgery to remove as much of the tumor in her brain that was safe, followed by Gamma Knife Radiosurgery to radiate the parts of the tumor that were too risky to remove.

    In January, Dr. Ciricillo performed her surgery. A few weeks later, he started to prepare her for the Gamma Knife procedure.

    “Stan, the Gamma Knife coordinator, made us feel so comfortable with the procedure. He was wonderful with Taylor and we were instantly impressed,” said Sara. “When we found out that Dr. Ciricillo would also perform the Gamma Knife procedure, I had the utmost confidence that we had the best team.”

    Thanks to the techniques of Dr. Ciricillo and his counterparts, both the surgeries were successful in removing as much of the tumor as possible. Taylor only had to miss a few days of school, and she will continue to take medication to suppress the production of the growth hormone. Other than a few precautions, she can continue to mature like all the other girls her age.

    Learn more about Sutter Neuroscience Institute and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.

     

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