Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic Neuroma

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Treatments for acoustic neuroma may include various options: physician monitored conservative treatment, surgical removal and radiotherapy. About 25% of all acoustic neuromas are treated with medical management consisting of a periodic monitoring of the patient's neurological status, serial imaging studies, and the use of hearing aids when appropriate. Choice of treatment are made by both the patient and physician and are dependent upon the size and location of the tumor, patient's age, symptoms, physical health and hearing. At SCCNS we encourage an open discussion with our patients as to their options and educate them on the risk associated with each treatment.

Conservative Treatment: Because these tumors grow so slowly, a physician may opt for conservative treatment beginning with an observation period. In such a case, the tumor is monitored by annual MRI to monitor growth. This route is common among patients over 70 years old. Since the growth rate of an acoustic neuroma rarely accelerates, annual observation is sufficient.

Surgical Treatment: Surgery may be necessary if the neuroma is affecting facial nerves, causing hearing loss or causing other problems. Removal of acoustic neuromas may be performed using several approaches. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. However surgery risks may include headaches, hearing loss, dizziness, and possibly facial weakness. Occasionally an additional surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery is needed to treat remaining tumor tissue. Acoustic neuroma surgery is highly technically demanding and should be performed by a neurosurgeon or otolaryngologist, alone or together.

Stereotactic radiosurgery: Radiosurgery such as Gamma Knife uses beams of gamma radiation that are focused on the tumor in a single session. This treatment is designed to stop tumor growth. Regular follow up with your surgeon is necessary to check for any change in tumor growth. SCCNS is proud to offer this treatment at the Southern California Regional Gamma Center at San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland, CA.

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