Acoustic Neuroma

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  • I awoke in the middle of the night with a start. The noise was like the rushing water of a mighty waterfall along with the high pitched whiney sound of a motor. I realized very soon that what I was experiencing was in my left ear and I thought possibly I had some pressure from a sinus problem or fluid around my ear.

    Within a few days I had called a doctor who sent me to a specialist. I was told to make an appointment for some type of test which I did not do because I was planning to get married and this did not fit into my plans. After the honeymoon, I decided maybe there was indeed a more serious problem because not only was the noise still in my ear, but I was nearly deaf in that ear. I found that I had to make major adjustments to my life, at work and at home. I no longer could use the phone on my left ear and I always turned so people could talk to me in my right ear. With my new insurance and a new doctor, I was sent to a neurologist who ordered an MRI.

    The MRI showed that I did have a tumor on the nerve that goes from my ear to my brain. The tumor was located at the base of my brain which would cause even more of a problem as time went on. I thanked God that I had no nerve damage to my facial nerves and my balance was OK.

    My medical insurance sent me to Dr. Kenneth Ott, a neurosurgeon, who I was told may consider me for the Gamma Knife procedure. Dr. Ott carefully described my condition and the options that were before me. He told me one option was intrusive surgery that would remove the tumor, but I may be left with nerve damage and of course the long term recovery would be ahead of me along with the chance of infection. My other option was the Gamma Knife procedure. I did not even have to think very long. I felt extremely confident in Dr. Ott and the Gamma Knife so I was scheduled for the procedure.

    Everyone at the Center was extremely friendly and kind. While my family waited, I was fitted for the frame and then I went into the Gamma Knife which for me only lasted 10 to 15 minutes. Within 2 days I was back to work with no side effects whatsoever. Not only am I impressed with the Gamma Knife process, but the doctors and nurses and everyone made me feel at ease and confident that I had made the right choice.