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Home > Medical Services > Ear, Nose & Throat > Ear Care > Ear Disorders > Acoustic Neuroma > Surgical Treatment
Intervention options for acoustic neuromas include observation, surgery and radiosurgery. Determining optimal treatment varies based on several factors, including: tumor size, whether the tumor has caused neurologic damage prior to treatment and patient preferences.
Because acoustic neuromas are usually slow-growing, immediate intervention is not always necessary. For patients with very small, asymptomatic tumors, some elderly patients, or patients with medical complications, a conservative approach with observation including serial MRI studies may be reasonable.
The options for the treatment of the acoustic neuromas include surgery and radiosurgery. Radiosurgery is a relatively non-invasive treatment that uses narrow beams of radiation to both treat the acoustic neuroma while minimizing the dose of radiation delivered to the surrounding tissues.
Controversy exists regarding the optimal form of treatment for the acoustic neuromas. Small tumors do not typically pose a risk to brain function and may not present with noticeable symptoms. These smaller tumors may be monitored over time with imaging studies, including MRI scans. For larger tumors, intervention options may be indicated. For both surgery and radiotherapy approaches to acoustic neuroma treatment, the important issues to consider are preservation of the facial nerve, preservation of hearing and control of the tumor. "Control of the tumor" is a phrase that should be considered carefully.
Microsurgical resection (removal) of acoustic neuromas can be accomplished using one of three operative approaches.
Surgical removal of acoustic neuromas have been aided by the following technological advances, including: