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Treating acoustic neuromas

Smaller acoustic neuromas may not need immediate treatment and you will be monitored by your specialist. Surgery may be used to remove larger acoustic neuromas.

Watch and wait

Some acoustic neuromas may not need immediate treatment, this is usually when they are small and not causing symptoms. If this is the case, you'll usually be put on active monitoring (also called "watch and wait") and you'll see your specialist for regular check ups or MRI scans every 3, 6 or 12 months.

Surgery for acoustic neuroma

Neurosurgery is usually only used to remove larger acoustic neuroma brain tumours as it can result in the loss of hearing in the affected ear. Your surgeon will explain what is involved in the procedure and potential risks and complications. The surgeon may leave a small part of the tumour to prevent damage to the facial nerve. Any tumour cells that are left behind can be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery.

You may wish to discuss the possibility of having a 'bone anchored hearing aid' with your surgeon. This diverts sound from your affected ear to your good ear. Occasionally surgery can result in damage to the facial nerve, causing your face to droop on one side or difficulty in closing that eye.

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If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.

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