Schwannoma, also known as neuroma, is a slow-growing non-cancerous tumor of the tissue that covers the nerves, called the nerve sheath. These tumors develop from a type of cell called a Schwann cell. Schwannoma can develop from any nerve in the body, although they most often develop in certain nerves located in the head, neck and spine.
The cause of schwannomas is unknown, but they sometimes occur in individuals with certain disorders such as some types of genetic neurological disorder that can affect the brain, sponal cord, nerves and skin.
The most common symptoms of a schwannoma are:
- Painless or panful mass
- Electric-like shock when mass is touched
Schwannoma is diagnosed through special imaging of the brain. A focused MRI of the internal auditory canals is typically best for visualizing a vestibular schwannoma. Other tests may be required such as angiography or an audiogram.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI shows the soft tissues of the body and gives clearer picture of the brain, skull base and spine.
Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)- Combined CT scan and myleography produces image that clearly show both the bone structures of the spine and the nerve structures
Angiography – A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain hormones released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body.
Main treatment for schwannoma is through surgical approach. At ONE® Brain & Spine Center®, we specialize in minimally invasive retromastoid craniotomy for removal of schwannoma. Some schwannomas will require just one of these therapies and others will require a combination.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments
- Retromastoid Approach Minimally invasive retromastoid approach is made with an approximately one-inch skull opening via a two-inch skin incision behind the ear. This approach is used for acoustic tumor surgery because it results in high probability of the preservation of the facial nerve and hearing nerve functions.
If you are suffering from any cranial or brain conditions, we urge you to see our brain specialists at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® for consultation so we may help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. Call (949) 383-4190 to schedule an appointment.