About Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic neuroma, also called vestibular schwannoma, is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that affects a cranial nerve running from the brain to the inner ear. It can interfere with hearing and balance.
MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland, Michigan has state-of-the-art technology for detecting, diagnosing and treating acoustic neuroma. If your doctor suspects you have this defect, he may refer you to one of our board-certified neurosurgeons (see the list of physicians as the right). Your doctor or specialist may use some of the following methods to arrive at a diagnosis:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) [link to MRI page] – This diagnostic tool, which uses magnetic scanning, is useful in diagnosing acoustic neuroma because it can “see” through the bones of the skull to the tissue underneath.
Computerized Tomography (CT) scan – Also known as a CAT scan, this advanced x-ray technology provides a series of detailed pictures of tissues, bone and blood vessels.
Treatment for acoustic neuroma depends on a number of factors, including the size and location of the tumor, as well as the patient’s age and general health. If you are diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, MidMichigan has treatment and facilities offering the following:
Gamma Knife surgery
– A highly specialized technology with sub-millimeter accuracy, this relies on three-dimensional computer-assisted planning to target and then destroy the tumor with high-energy radiation in a one-day treatment. This type of surgery controls tumor growth in over 90 percent of patients with minimal risk to facial nerves and good potential to preserve hearing. Not surprisingly, the Gamma Knife® is offering new hope to many acoustic neuroma patients in Michigan and Western Ontario.
Surgery – Called a craniotomy, a neurosurgeon makes an opening in the skull to remove all or as much of the tumor as possible through microsurgery. This is most often considered with large tumors that are causing brain compression.
Linear accelerator radiotherapy – A specialized technology with 2-millimeter accuracy that uses three-dimensional computer-aided planning to locate and treat the tumor, often over a series of visits. This planning and treatment is available at our Saginaw Radiation Oncology Center.
The MidMichigan Difference
A statewide leader in neuroscience and cancer care in Michigan
Board-certified neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists specially trained and experienced in a variety of treatment methods, including Gamma Knife surgery.
Three hospitals and four radiation oncology centers located in safe and friendly communities in the middle of Michigan
Gamma Knife® is a registered trademark of Elekta Group.