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Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic Neuroma Treatments continued...

A newer, less invasive technique called total endoscopic resection enables surgeons to remove acoustic neuromas using a small camera inserted through a hole in the skull. This technique is offered only at major medical centers with specially trained surgeons. Initial studies show success rates similar to those with conventional surgery.

Radiation therapy is recommended in some cases for acoustic neuromas. State-of-the-art delivery techniques make it possible to send high doses of radiation to the tumor while limiting expose and damage to surrounding tissue. 

Radiation therapy for this condition is delivered in one of two ways:

  • Single fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), in which many hundreds of small beams of radiation are aimed at the tumor in a single session.
  • Multi-session fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FRS), which delivers smaller doses of radiation daily, generally over several weeks. Early studies suggest multi-session therapy may preserve hearing better than SRS.

Both of these are outpatient procedures, which means they don't require a hospital stay. They work by causing tumor cells to die. The tumor's growth may slow or stop or it may even shrink, but radiation doesn't completely remove the tumor.

Selecting the right treatment depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Size of the tumor
  • Whether the tumor is growing
  • Your age
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Severity of your symptoms and their impact on your life

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on August 31, 2012
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