An acoustic neuroma (more accurately called a vestibular schwannoma, also known as an acoustic tumour) is a benign growth that arises from the hearing and balance nerve. This nerve, known as the eighth cranial nerve, runs next to the facial nerve from the brainstem to the inner ear through a small bony canal, the internal auditory canal. The acoustic neuroma begins in the internal auditory canal and slowly expands towards the brainstem causing compression of this vital area of the brain.
Treatment 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 tumour while limiting expose and damage to surrounding tissue.
Epidemiology · each year, 1 in 5,12,709 people develops · acoustic neuromaacoustic neuromas are caused by a genetic malfunction involving chromosome 22 · unilateral acoustic neuromas (affecting only one ear) o occurs in about 6% of all cases of tumors in the skull o symptoms usually appear between ages 30 and 60, but may develop at any age o is not hereditary