Vestibular Schwannoma Treatment
An acoustic neuroma is usually treated with radiation therapy or surgery. The neuroma may simply be observed in an elderly person who has mild symptoms. Hearing is preserved in 30 to 80 percent of those who undergo surgery, and it is rare for the tumor to recur. Rarely, the facial nerve is damaged during treatment, because it is located near the tumor. Damage to the facial nerve can cause weakness of the muscles on one side of the face.
Treatment for an acoustic neuroma includes:
- Radiation therapy for acoustic neuroma
- Surgery for acoustic neuroma
Vestibular Schwannoma Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of acoustic neuroma.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Will I need speech therapy?
- Are my children at risk for this condition?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Vestibular Schwannoma Radiation Therapy
Stereotactic radiosurgery is a very precise form of radiation therapy. It has become the first line therapy for most acoustic neuromas.
This method uses a highly-focused dose of radiation directed at a small area of the brain tumor. It requires specialized scanning equipment, and 3-dimensional imaging. Another name for this method is a gamma knife.
Gamma knife devices include CyberKnife and LINAC X. These allow doctors to deliver a precise dose of radiation just to the area of the tumor. Gamma knives have a lightweight linear accelerator attached to a robotic arm. This highly-specific therapy delivers deadly doses to tumor cells with a minimal effect on surrounding brain tissue.
Radiotherapy is usually used in addition to surgery, especially when the entire tumor cannot be removed. Optic nerve meningiomas are often treated just with radiotherapy.
Vestibular Schwannoma Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat an acoustic neuroma:
Vestibular Schwannoma Surgery
Continue to Vestibular Schwannoma Home Care
- Flint D, Fagan P, Panarese A. Conservative management of sporadic unilateral acoustic neuromas. J Laryngol Otol. 2005 Jun;119(6):424-8. 
- Lemajic-Komazec S, Komazec Z. Initial evaluation of vertigo. Med Pregl. 2006 Nov-Dec;59(11-12):585-90. 
- Lin D, Hegarty JL, Fischbein NJ, Jackler RK. The prevalence of "incidental" acoustic neuroma. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Mar;131(3):241-4. 
- Myrseth E, Pedersen PH, Moller P, Lund-Johansen M. Treatment of vestibular schwannomas. Why, when and how? Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2007;149(7):647-60; discussion 660. Epub 2007 Jun 11. 
- Pogodzinski MS, Harner SG, Link MJ. Patient choice in treatment of vestibular schwannoma. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 May;130(5):611-6.