Department of Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery

Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuromas are benign, slow-growing tumors that form on the balance nerve inside the skull. Although they are benign, there is no extra space for them in the head, and removal is usually necessary to prevent damage to nearby structures. The earliest symptoms may be imbalance, which may be very subtle. Hearing loss may occur later. MRI is the test of choice to find these tumors. Neurofibromatosis is a condition which often results in bilateral acoustic neuromas.

Treatment options differ depending on the size, location, rate of growth and patient’s age. Sometimes observation may be recommended, usually with regular MRI scanning to assess growth. If growth is seen, surgery may be recommended. Radiation treatment, sometimes called “gamma knife” may be appropriate for some patients.

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