Doctors at the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles have developed a revolutionary procedure to successfully remove acoustic neuroma (AN), a brain tumor that sits near the nerves closest to the part of the brain that controls hearing. Removing AN through traditional brain surgery can be complicated due to its location and oftentimes results in the patient losing his or her ability to hear or experiencing permanent facial paralysis.
Called the “keyhole” technique, this new procedure involves making a dime-sized incision behind one’s ear and removing the tumor with an endoscope. Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., medical director of the Skull Base Institute, has performed more than 6,000 minimally invasive procedures, including the “keyhole” technique. The institute found that the “keyhole” technique resulted in completely removing 94% of AN tumors and mostly removing 6% of them. Hearing was preserved in 57% of cases, and facial movements were preserved in 100% of them.
Roughly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with AN each year. Some symptoms include intermittent hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and headaches. Annual hearing screenings can help maintain one’s overall hearing health as well as help identify any concerns at an early stage. Click here for assistance in finding a hearing healthcare professional.
Last updated: May 06, 2014