Gamma Knife has shown to be very effective in treating acoustic neuromas while preserving normal post-operative facial function and hearing with low treatment-associated side effects.
What is an acoustic neuroma?
An acoustic neuroma is a benign (non-malignant) tumour growing in the internal auditory canal. It can often expand into the cranial cavity towards the brainstem. It usually originates from the vestibular nerve, which supplies the organ of balance.
What are the symptoms of an acoustic neuroma?
Symptoms are caused by mechanical compression of adjacent nerves and the brainstem. This is why the most common symptom is hearing loss.
Other common symptoms are ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and vertigo. Very large tumours may cause many other neurological problems due to mechanical pressure on the brainstem.
Scan showing the reduced size of the tumour 2 years post-surgery with Gamma Knife.
How is acoustic neuroma diagnosed?
Diagnosis can be achieved by having a CT and/or MRI scan and also through hearing tests.
What is the treatment for acoustic neuroma?
As an alternative to conventional surgery, Gamma Knife surgery can be used to treat tumours of a volume up to 10cc (3cm across). Tumours causing symptoms due to brainstem compression should be candidates for conventional surgery.
Further information on acoustic neuromas
Please contact the Gamma Knife Centre directly or go to the British Acoustic Neuroma Association.
For health professionals
If you would like more information on the clinical applications of Gamma Knife treatment for acoustic neuroma, please see Professor Lippitz's website.