Patients referred to The London Clinic by their GP or from another hospital, or who come here for treatment from abroad, can access a high level of care for acoustic neuroma. Treatment options include intricate neurosurgery to remove the tumour, or CyberKnife radiosurgery treatment to shrink its size.

Monitoring an acoustic neuroma without treatment is usually best for elderly people as the risks of surgery may outweigh the benefits. In younger people, treatment of the tumour with surgery or radiosurgery is usually the best option.

CyberKnife treatment for acoustic neuroma

If you are diagnosed with a small acoustic neuroma, you may be suitable for stereotactic radiosurgery with the CyberKnife, which is available on-site at The London Clinic.

High intensity radiation is directed at the acoustic neuroma with pinpoint accuracy while you lie on the treatment table. The CyberKnife uses real-time imaging to target the exact 3-dimensional space where the tumour lies.

Treatment can be completed in one or several sessions, which take up to an hour. You need no anaesthetic or sedative and you can go home shortly afterwards.

After treatment, the acoustic neuroma will hopefully start to shrink, or at least to stop growing. Follow-up MRI scans will be done to check what is happening and then your neurosurgeon will discuss further treatment options with you as necessary, depending on the results.

Click here for more information on the Cyberknife for neurological conditions

Brain surgery for acoustic neuroma

The other treatment option is conventional surgery, which has a very high success rate (with low rates of tumour recurrence). The biggest risk with this treatment is of facial paralysis, however, in many cases with modern neurosurgical techniques it may be possible to save the function of the facial nerve.

Surgery is performed by a multi-disciplinary team that is headed jointly by a neurosurgeon and an ear, nose and throat surgeon. The operation involves a craniotomy, in which the skull is accessed at the back of the head. Microsurgery and laser surgery may then be combined with conventional surgery to remove the entire tumour.