These are benign tumors that originate from the Schwann cells that envelop the 8th cranial nerve (hearing and balance nerve). They typically originate from the balance nerve and present with unilateral hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance issues. Despite being a benign tumor continued growth can cause significant morbidity and even death. These tumors are diagnosed with an MRI. Smaller tumors can be observed with repeat MRIs. Larger tumors are treated with microsurgery which is accomplished in a combined surgery with a neurosurgeon and neurotologist. Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife) and stereotactic radiotherapy (Cyberknife) can be used for medium sized and smaller tumors.
These are vascular tumors that originate in the middle ear (Glomus Tympanicum) or cranial base (Glomus Jugulare). They often present with hearing loss and pulsatile tinnitus (the patient hears their heart beat in their ear). Treatment includes microsurgery, gammaknife, and cyber knife.
Facial Nerve Schwannomas
These are tumors that originate from the Schwan cells that envelop the facial nerve. They often present with a facial nerve weakness and, at times, hearing loss. Treatment usually consists of gammaknife or cyberknife, and, less commonly, surgery.