Acoustic neuroma tumor surgery in Iran

Even though an acoustic neuroma tumor is not a cancerous tumor, sometimes there might be a need to have surgery to remove in some cases. As this surgery can be quite expensive and requires to be done by an experienced ENT surgeon specialized in neuro-otology, it is common for patients to travel and have acoustic neuroma surgery done in other countries.

Now whether you are thinking about traveling to have the surgery or you are just thinking about having the surgery, we urge you to consider having acoustic neuroma tumor surgery in Iran with Dr. Saeedi the renowned ENT and neuro-otology surgeon in Tehran. Please continue reading to know about this surgery and about the advantages of having acoustic neuroma tumor surgery in Iran with Dr. Saeedi.

What is acoustic neuroma tumor?

Acoustic neuroma tumors (also known as vestibular Schwannoma) are benign tumors. Even though it is called acoustic neuroma, it develops on the eighth cranial nerve, aka the vestibulocochlear nerve (the balance and hearing nerve) not on the acoustic nerve.

acoustic neuroma tumor surgery in Iran
Acoustic neuroma tumor.

Acoustic neuroma tumors types

There are 2 different types of acoustic neuroma tumors. The one with a sporadic form and the second one that is connected to neurofibromatosis type II syndrome (NF2).

Acoustic neuroma tumor diagnosis

The diagnosis of acoustic neuroma tumors can be very hard in the early stages. The signs and symptoms of the tumor tend to develop slowly and gradually. If the patient is suffering from hearing loss and other problems in the inner ear, the doctor will ask for the following tests:

  • Imaging: The doctor usually asks for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to have a confirmation that the tumor is present because MRI can detect small tumors. If it is not possible to undergo an MRI, it is possible to undergo a CT scan.
  • Hearing test: during this test, an audiologist will direct sounds to one ear at a time presenting many sounds to see what tones you can hear.

Acoustic neuroma tumor symptoms

As said before, the symptoms are not always present and tend to be subtle or develop over the years. Most often, the symptoms appear due to the pressure from the tumor on the nerve. These symptoms may include:

  • Hearing loss: it is very common to have hearing loss in the case of acoustic neuroma. Hearing loss tends to be gradual and affects one ear, but it might occur suddenly in some rare cases.
  • Tinnitus: some of the patients might start to hear noises or ringing in the ear.
  • Vertigo: it is possible for patients to feel dizzy because acoustic neuroma tumors affect the balance nerves.
  • In some cases, the tumor can become very large and press on the brainstem hard enough to prevent the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid between the brain and the spinal cord. This can cause many symptoms such as headaches, and mental confusion.

Auditory tumor acoustic neuroma causes

Auditory tumor acoustic neuroma seems to be caused by a defective gene on chromosome 22. This gene is responsible for making a protein that helps to control the growth of Schwann cells that covers the nerves.

Even though the reasons for this malfunction are not known yet, there are some risk factors such as:

  1. Age: Acoustic neuroma tumor usually appears among patients between the age of 30 and the age of 60.
  2. Genetics: (NF2) Neurofibromatosis type 2 can be an inherited disease, but you should know that it is very rare.
  3. Radiation: Exposing the head and the neck to huge amounts of radiation in childhood can raise the risk of developing acoustic neuroma tumors.
  4. Loud noises: Some studies pointed out that some of the acoustic neuroma cases can be connected to exposure to loud noises in the long term.

Acoustic neuroma tumor treatments

The treatment you will get after being diagnosed with acoustic neuroma tumors depends on many factors. These factors include the tumor’s size and location, the patient’s age, overall health, and hearing. In general, the treatments include:

Monitoring and observing the tumor

This option is used for patients who have small acoustic neuroma tumors or tumors that have a slow growth rate and do not cause any symptoms or cause only a few. This option is preferred for the elderly patients and the ones with health problems.

This option is usually accompanied by a regular imaging and hearing tests once or twice a year to monitor the growth of the tumor and its symptoms.

Acoustic neuroma tumor surgery

If needed, the surgeon will remove the tumor surgically. The technique the surgeon will use depends on the tumor’s size and the symptoms you have. The surgery aims to remove the tumor without damaging the facial nerve to avoid having facial paralysis.

Radiation therapy

This treatment is usually preferred for elderly people and patients with health problems who cannot undergo surgery. Radiotherapy uses high-energy gamma rays to stop the growth of the tumor without making any surgical cut.

How is acoustic neuroma tumor surgery performed?

This surgery is done under general anesthesia and it requires a delicate hand of an experienced neuro-otology surgeon. There are three common approaches for this surgery.

Translabyrinthine (through the mastoid bone)

Translabyrinthine approach is used for tumors of all sizes when there is a severe hearing loss or when it is not possible to preserve hearing. In this surgery, the surgeon will make an incision behind the patient’s ear, and then he/she will open the mastoid bone and remove some parts of the inner ear to get access to the tumor.

This approach helps the surgeon to remove the tumor safely without any damage to the facial nerve. However, since some parts of the inner ear are removed, the hearing will be lost in the ear during this surgery.

Retrosigmoid approach (Behind the ear)

It is common to use the retrosigmoid approach for smaller tumors when there is a possibility to preserve the hearing and when the tumor is approaching the brainstem.

Retrosigmoid approach involves making an incision behind the ear, opening the occipital bone (a bone in the back of the skull that is located behind the mastoid) and removing the bone over the internal auditory canal, thus giving the surgeon access to the tumor. Afterward, the surgeon will remove the tumor (or most of it if there is a risk of nerve damage).

After the surgery, the surgeon will put the occipital bone back in its place and seal the closure with some fat from the area that surrounds the belly button.

After acoustic neuroma tumor surgery

Acoustic neuroma tumor surgery complications

Like any surgery, acoustic neuroma tumor surgery may have some complications. These complications include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Facial numbness and facial weakness
  • Tinnitus
  • Problems with balance
  • Infections
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leakage

Acoustic neuroma brain tumor recovery

After the surgery, the patient might spend a few nights in the hospital so the doctor can monitor their state. The recovery time after acoustic neuroma tumor surgery usually takes 4 to 6 weeks. The patient will have a follow-up appointment 2 weeks after the surgery.

The recovery period depends on the patient’s age and overall health and of course the size of the tumor. Even though most patients can get back to work after 6 weeks, the patient should consult with his/her doctor first.

During the recovery period after acoustic neuroma surgery, you should refrain from lifting heavy objects for 4 weeks. Also, avoid coughing, sneezing or holding your breath when you are strained, because doing this applies pressure of the surgical site.

If you experience unbalance problems, you should pay attention not to fall, especially when you climb stair, drive or walk outside after the surgery. Driving is not recommended during the first 3 weeks following surgery.

Keep your head dry until you get the sutures removed. After that, you can shower or bathe as usual, but pay attention not to rub the surgical site to dry it. Only dry the incision by patting it.

Why choose to undergo acoustic neuroma tumor surgery in Iran with Dr. Saeedi?

Iran does not only have some of the most skilled and experienced surgeons in the world, but Iran also has many hospitals, medical centers, and clinics that are equipped with the most advanced equipment in the world. This has made Iran one of the best destinations for people who seek to undergo delicate surgeries such as acoustic neuroma surgery.

Dr. Masoomeh Saeedi is considered one of the best otolaryngologists in Iran. She obtained a fellowship in Neuro-otology more than 12 years ago and was the first in the country in the entrance examination for this fellowship. In addition, at the age of 33, she was able to become an associate professor in ear, nose and throat (ENT) at Baqiatallah University in Tehran.

Dr. Saeedi has performed more than 5,000 successful surgeries, and to enhance her knowledge and experience, Dr. Saeedi had undergone specialized international courses in many countries like Germany, France, Portugal, South Korea, Malaysia and others.

Because of her experience, many international patients are referring to Dr. Saeedi for their complex operations. Contact us now to get a free online consultation for your case with Dr. Saeedi.

Cost of acoustic neuroma tumor surgery in Iran

On top of having the best medical care while having surgery in Iran, you will be offered more affordable prices. Even with the cost of traveling and the hotel reservation, you are likely to pay much less what you would pay in other countries for the surgery itself.

Frequently asked questions about acoustic neuroma tumor surgery

Is acoustic neuroma a brain tumor?

Yes, acoustic neuroma tumor is a benign brain tumor.

Will brain MRI show acoustic neuroma?

MRI imaging is usually the best option for acoustic neuroma tumor diagnosis due to its ability to detect small tumors.

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