Acoustic Neuroma is a benign tumor that arises in the internal auditory canal (skull bone surrounding the auditory nerve) or just outside the internal auditory canal from the nerve sheath of a vestibular (balance) nerve. This tumor, as it slowly enlarges, can compress the vestibular (balance) nerves, causing vertigo. In the early part of the tumor’s growth, the patient complains of unsteadiness. If compression of the auditory (hearing) nerve occurs, there is evidence of a sensorineural hearing loss with very poor speech discrimination. Tinnitus (ringing in the ear) may also be present. The facial nerve may be affected, but usually late in the course of this disease. [Northern, 1996]
Dr. Patrick Slater is one of an extremely small group of doctors in Central Texas who perform surgery to remove acoustic neuromas. The surgery is performed with a neurosurgeon, and can often take multiple hours to complete.