Other symptoms may include tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and dizziness/loss of balance. These tumors can impact facial nerves, causing facial numbness, weakness, or paralysis on one side of face. If the tumor grows large enough, it may press against nearby brain structures (such as the brainstem and the cerebellum), becoming life threatening or even fatal.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), analyzed outcomes in thousands of patients who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatment for vestibular schwannomas.
In this analysis of 6,438 patients, when Gamma Knife radiosurgery was used to treat vestibular schwannomas, there appeared to be a good outcome if facial nerve function and hearing was preserved prior to treatment.
There was an overall facial nerve function of 96 percent and hearing preservation of 51 percent with an average follow up of almost four years.
Patients who had the best facial and hearing outcomes were those patients treated with lower doses of radiosurgery at 13 Gray (Gy) or less. These patients had a higher rate of hearing preservation compared to patients treated with higher doses (61 percent versus 50 percent in the higher-dose group) and improved facial nerve function (98 percent versus 95 percent.)
Source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons http://www.aans.org/Back to HCB News