Tumors can form on the inner or middle ear, causing hearing loss. Ear tumors in the inner ear are called an acoustic neuroma. Tumors in the middle ear are called glomus tumors. These ear tumors are typically benign, but may cause hearing loss. Ear tumors require surgical treatment to ensure symptoms are fully resolved.
How are Ear Tumors Treated?
When a benign tumor affects hearing or balance, surgery is usually required to remove it. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The tumor is carefully removed through the middle ear, or through a window incision created in the skull.
A surgical microscope may be used to provide greater visibility. Depending on the size of the tumor, ear tumor surgery typically ranges from four to six hours.
Another method that may be used is Gamma Knife radiosurgery. This is a noninvasive procedure that delivers radiation to the target area. The procedure takes between 20-60 minutes. Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be used alone to slow or stop the growth of the tumor, or as an additional treatment to surgery to help prevent the regrowth of the tumor.