The diagnosis of an acoustic tumor has been established as the most probable cause of your symptoms.
What Is an Acoustic Neuroma?
Acoustic tumors are non-malignant fibrous growths, originating from the balance or hearing nerve, that do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. They constitute six to ten percent of the brain tumors.
These growths are located deep inside the skull and are adjacent to vital brain centers. The first signs or symptoms one notices usually are related to ear function and include ear noise and disturbances in hearing and balance. As the tumors enlarge, they involve other surrounding nerves having to do with more vital functions. Headaches may develop as a result of increased pressure on the brain. If allowed to continue over a long period of time, this pressure on the brain is ultimately fatal.
In most cases these tumors grow slowly over a period of years. In others, the rate of growth is more rapid. In some the symptoms are mild, and in others, severe multiple symptoms develop rather rapidly.
Acoustic Neuroma Overview
The patient with an acoustic tumor has a serious problem, which sometimes involves life and death. Therefore, many diagnostic procedures are used to be as certain as possible of an accurate diagnosis.
Great care is exerted before, during and after surgery in these cases in order to preserve life. The preservation of life is the most important objective of surgery in these most difficult cases. A secondary objective of surgery is to preserve for future life as many vital structures as possible. For some, a completely normal life results following surgery. For others, minimum or at times even maximum degrees of physical handicap may persist.
To accomplish the preservation of life with the least future physical disturbance, this surgery with pre and postoperative care is performed and assisted by a team. This team includes an internist, a neuromonitoring specialist, an anesthesiologist, a specially trained surgical nurse, a neurosurgeon and an otologist (ear specialist). Fortunately, great advances have been made in safely removing acoustic tumors including microsurgery, lasers and nerve monitors.