Mr Michel Neeff - Otolaryngologist @ ENT Associates
Private Service, ENT/ Head & Neck Surgery, Paediatrics
Vestibular schwannoma (aka acoustic neuroma)
This is a slow-growing, benign (non-cancerous) growth of the fatty lining of the balance nerve. Patients may present with a slight hearing loss or mild tinnitus (ringing/clicking/buzzing noises in the affected ear). There may be a progressive loss of hearing, tinnitus and balance problems. The tumour can be confirmed on an MRI scan.
Vestibular schwannomas are usually found in one ear and generally occur in people over 40 years of age.
If the vestibular schwannoma is small, you may not require any active treatment. Yearly MRI scans may be all that is needed.
Active treatment may include surgery or, on rare occasions, radiotherapy.
Surgical treatment may be suggested for larger or growing tumours. Surgery will be performed under general anaesthetic. Following surgery you will recover in hospital for about one week.
Rarely, radiotherapy can be considered for small tumours. It involves low-dose radiation to the tumour. You can discuss this with your surgeon.