Hello and thank you members for this wonderful forum. I have been experiencing balance issues, facial numbness, tinnitus and a feeling of fullness in my left ear. In August my ENT sent me for an MRI which showed a mass 2.3 X 1 X 1.7 cm. (Extra-axial mass with the epicenter at the internal auditory canal with some extension of the enhancement that is ether along dural tracts or perhaps the acoustic nerve. Differential is acoustic schwannoma or meningioma.) I immediately saw a neurologist who recommended that I seek treatment at University of Florida, Gainesville. I was able to meet with Dr. Friedman at UF and he recommended Gamma Knife, not for acoustic neuroma but for what he feels is a meningoma. He wanted to schedule GK for the following week. Truthfully, I just wasn't ready to commit to treatment after only a 10 minute consultation during which I felt extremely intimidated and rushed. I felt I needed time to do some research of my own and seek at least another opinion or two. I contacted the University of South Florida in Tampa and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Agazzi. While waiting for that, I decided to submit my information to the Barrow Institute in Arizona. They offer a second opinion program for a $100. fee. I sent them the cd of my MRI and medical records via internet and waited anxiously for their opinion. That was quite the experience. In about a week I received a report with their recommendation that I have Gamma Knife to treat my Trigeminal Neuralgia. When I called and informed them that I have no symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia, they said the doctor had been working on a couple of files at the same time and just made a mistake, and I do have an acoustic neuroma. Needless to say, I don't feel very confident with Barrow Inst. so I know I won't be going there for treatment.
It's now November and I've been to Tampa and met with a neurologist, Dr Agazzi who immediately sent me to see his collegue, a neurotologist. He advised Vestibular therapy and will see me again in January,2015. The neurologist wants another MRI in December to see if there is any change. I should add that I am 65 and do have insurance that allows me to go where ever I choose. That is a blessing to have the ability to go where I want for treatment. However, making the decision is so hard when one can't even find two doctors who agree on what I have or what the treatment should be, ugh!