The tumor usually grows slowly. As it develops, it presses against the hearing and balance nerves. At first, you may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. Acoustic neuroma symptoms can include:
It can be hard to diagnose acoustic neuroma; ear exams and hearing tests may not show if you have it because acoustic neuroma symptoms are similar to those of middle ear problems.
Long Island neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Brisman discusses how new technologies and advancements have improved Acoustic Neuroma treatments.
Not all acoustic neuromas need acoustic neuroma surgery. A patient’s age, condition and symptoms are all evaluated to determine the best course of action. If the tumor stays small, you may only need to have it checked regularly with MRIs and exams. However, hearing can deteriorate rapidly and suddenly, so you may want to treat the tumor while it is still easily managed with stereotactic radiosurgery. If it continues to grow, it could put pressure on the brain and become life-threatening.
For patients who have a complete hearing loss, who wish to avoid radiation therapy or who are not good candidates for Gamma Knife radiosurgery, a craniectomy may be the best option.
The Suboccipital Craniotomy or retrosigmoid surgery involves removing part of the occipital bone behind the ear to access the tumor. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and requires a hospital stay.
Because the mastoid bone and the balance canal structures of the inner ear are removed during translabyrinthine surgery, this approach is only appropriate for patients who have no usable hearing. This technique requires almost no retraction of the brain in order to expose the tumor.
The Long Island Gamma Knife Center offers a noninvasive acoustic neuroma surgery alternative to major open surgery.
When radiation or surgery is the best course of treatment, it has a greater than 95% success rate. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, a type of stereotactic radiosurgery (radiation therapy using precise coordinates from computer imaging), is one such technique that is proving to be particularly beneficial for treating acoustic neuromas. Using radiation beams, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery offers a single-session brain surgery that is bloodless and highly-effective. In most cases, patients are discharged the day of radiation therapy.
At NSPC, we’re proud to offer the latest neurosurgical techniques that provide faster recoveries and better outcomes for our patients. Our expert neurosurgeons are experienced in providing an individualized acoustic neuroma treatment for each patient. We offer leading-edge treatments for brain and spine conditions, in the New York area.
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