Gamma Knife Restores Hearing and Balance
Too young for age-related hearing problems and loss of balance, Barb sought help from her primary care physician. She was having trouble hearing on the telephone, there was a constant noise in her ears, and she had fallen several times. Her doctor referred her to an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT), and an MRI revealed the acoustic neuroma in her left ear.
Also known as a vestibular schwannoma, this benign, usually slow-growing tumor generally affects one ear. It causes hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), dizziness and loss of balance. Left untreated, it can grow large enough to cause facial numbness or weakness, or even some facial paralysis.
Barb and her neurosurgeon chose Gamma Knife to treat her benign tumor.
Gamma Knife (GK) was designed specifically for use in the head. Not a knife at all, GK delivers a single, precise dose of radiation to a highly defined target while preserving healthy tissue. Patients are awake during the procedure and go home the same day, able to resume their usual activities in just a day or two.
“The staff explained every part of the procedure to me,” says Barb. “It was very reassuring. I had a lot of questions, and they took time to answer them all.”
Gamma Knife stopped Barb’s tumor from growing larger. GK was especially effective, as over a two-year period her tumor even decreased in size.
“My balance is much better, and the ringing and buzzing are gone,” Barb says.
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