Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gamma Knife for Acoustic Neuroma


                                                                                         Email:  neuro@braintumors.in

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Surgical therapy for Acoustic Neuroma

Surgery for acoustic neuromas has been performed since the early 1900's. The initial successes were few and far between by the early pioneering neurosurgeons who treated this problem. The past twenty years have witnessed an astounding improvement in our abilities to successfully deal with these tumors while preserving the neurological function of the patient.

In contemporary surgical treatment of these tumors, the vast majority of patients lead a normal life following their surgery. The two main concerns that patients typically have is preservation of facial nerve function and of hearing. The facial nerve exits the brain stem and is anatomically in a position adjacent to the vestibulocochlear nerve. The anatomical relationships of the nerves to the structures of the inner ear and the brain stem can be seen in the section on anatomy. Preservation of facial nerve function is extremely important because of its cosmetic implications. Normal movement of the face on each side is controlled by the facial nerve. Any disruption leads to a loss of normal muscular tone and movement in that side of the face.
Preserving anatomical continuity of the nerve means that the nerve is intact and was not disrupted by the surgical procedure. Even with an intact nerve, the functional abilities of the nerve may not be complete. However, results from our series over the years have shown excellent results in terms of functional outcome of the facial nerve. In a recently reviewed series of over three hundred and eighty (380) patients who underwent a middle fossa-type approach at the House Ear Clinic, ninety-five percent (95%) of these patients maintained excellent facial nerve function after surgery. Only five percent (5%) suffered minor weakness of the facial nerve function. Preservation of facial nerve function is dependent to some degree on the size of the tumor that is removed.

One of the major recent focuses of acoustic neuroma surgery is the preservation of hearing. Major strides have been made in recent years in terms of improving the results of hearing preservation with surgery. Much like facial nerve results, the size of tumor is an influential factor. Also important is how well the patient hears prior to surgery. Hearing is determined by a test called an audiogram. This is performed by an audiologist. If the results of the audiogram indicate that the hearing level is sufficient to indicate a reasonable chance of success with saving the hearing during surgery, then a surgical approach is selected that is designed to save hearing. Otherwise, it may be advisable to choose a treatment approach that sacrifices hearing in order to obtain a total resection of the tumor.

Most patients with adequate pre-operative hearing levels have small tumors which are mostly confined to the internal auditory canal.  Continued refinements in this approach have led to superior hearing preservation results. Some patients also are candidates for a retrosigmoid approach. These are patients whom have small tumors that have only a small portion of the tumor located within the internal auditory canal. However, this is a minority of patients with acoustic neuromas who have only a small component in the internal auditory canal.  Any measurable level of hearing was preserved in eighty percent (80%) of those patients.

Email : neuro@braintumors.in

Acoustic Neuroma Treatments

The treatment goal for any benign brain tumor is to eliminate the tumor while preserving neurological function. Because of their location in proximity to delicate brain structures, acoustic neuromas are a complicated treatment problem. The best care for the patient with acoustic neuroma is provided by specialized professionals who have significant and on-going experience in their treatment. An acoustic neuroma is one of the small number or brain tumors that must be attended to by physicians who specialize in and frequently treat this condition.
The majority of patients diagnosed with acoustic neuroma do have treatment for the tumor. Because acoustic neuromas are typically benign, slow-growing tumors, the necessity for treatment is not usually urgent, allowing patients time to research their treatment options and find an experienced team to manage their care. Patients who decide to have their acoustic neuroma monitored rather than have radiation therapy or surgery for the tumor generally do not exhibit significance changes in the tumor over time as documented by MRI Scans. For those patients who require immediate treatment of their acoustic neuroma either because of its size, its growth or change in shape or the urgency of their symptoms, surgical removal of the tumor is the preferred method of treatment.

Email : neuro@braintumors.in