I am 37 years old IT professional, from CT, married with no kids.
I have been facing some blocking in ear for last year or so, went to PCP and then to ENT (2 doctors), and finally was advised to take MRI few weeks ago.
Got the results yesterday, and as you have rightly guessed it...I do have an AN of around 2.6 cm size (the exact size I am yet to get it, as I do not have the MRI results). My ENT doctor yesterday had advised strongly to take surgery due to the size of the AN and also due to the "young" age!! He did assure that it is not an urgent one and I can take some time to decide. Personally, he is not recommending radiation therapy.
He told that he would ask a neurosurgeon (I forgot his name!..
..) in New Haven Yale Hospital to reach out to me and take it forward.
Few next steps that I am taking:
(1) I am planning to get the results of MRI today in Disc.
(2) Once I get it, I am planning to send it to Dr. Chang of Stanford (as I am seeing great reviews on his consultation/guidance). I am finding his academic email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org). Not sure if that's the right one to reach out to him.
(3) I am from India, so planning to share the results to some Doctors in India to get their opinion as well.
Naturally I and my wife jumped onto internet to know the "world of AN" and came across this wonderful support group.
What we are looking for:
(1) Personally, with the information gone through, I am inclined towards Gamma Knife (or other Radiation Surgery), as the "side-effects" of microsurgery along with "recovery time" turns me off from it. Also, I am not so "against" NOT removing it off altogether, as at this point in time, other than very limited impact of my hearing on left ear, i do not find anything else noticeable at all. But, I also understand the size is high. Seems 2.5 cm is the cut-off for Radiation surgery. Need some assurance from this group, on whether 2.6 cm is Ok for radiation.
(2) I am also looking for guidance on which doctors should I need to reach out for consultancy, given my location in CT - atleast couple of doctors on both sides of the story (Microsurgery and Radiology).
(3) Also, given the limited healthcare facilities in CT, am looking for guidance on where I need to undergo the surgery (whether in MA/NY, or in CA). If it is going to be "microsurgery", I do not have option to go to West, but if it turns to be Radio Surgery, then, I am open to it as well, as my understanding is - Radio Surgery is not something that requires lot of rehabiliation.
(4) Last but not the least, I am unclear on where to start and validate which aspects would be covered by my insurance
Frankly, I have been very glad to have a great life, and after knowing this AN, am trying to have positiveness on the fact that - I am in the world where we have such great technologies out there to help us, and most importantly, such network of people to support. Last but not the least, I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and all the times, the reason is for good..which we come to realize either in short term or in long term!!
So, with such note, am looking for guidance and support for this newbie of this group.