Treating acoustic neuroma
When you are diagnosed, the most appropriate treatment for you can depend on a number of factors. Things that your medical team will consider when deciding what treatment is right for you can include:
- The size of the tumour
- How the symptoms are affecting you
- Your general health
Generally, the treatment approaches taken include 'watch and wait', surgery or stereotactic radiotherapy.
Watch and wait
Some acoustic neuromas may not need immediate treatment. This is usually when they are small and not causing symptoms. If on 'watch and wait', you will see your specialist for regular check ups/MRI scans every 3, 6 or 12 months.
Surgery is usually only used to remove larger tumours as it can result in the loss of hearing in the affected ear. Your surgeon will explain what is involved in the procedure and potential risks and complications. The surgeon may leave a small part of the tumour to prevent damage to the facial nerve. Any tumour cells that are left behind can be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery.
You may wish to discuss the possibility of having a 'bone anchored hearing aid' with your surgeon. This diverts sound from your affected ear to your good ear. Occasionally surgery can result in damage to the facial nerve, causing your face to droop on one side or difficulty in closing that eye.
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