Author Topic: Surgery vs Gamma Knife?  (Read 608 times)

clover

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Surgery vs Gamma Knife?
« on: January 20, 2020, 12:38:42 pm »
Glad to have discovered this helpful forum! My partner was recently diagnosed with an AN which at this point is roughly 14mm in size. My partner has had three MRIs and the last one showed growth by 2 mm (over the past 6 months) and continued hearing loss in the affected ear (at this point there is about 60% hearing). Our otolaryngologist recommended either Gamma Knife or surgery discussing the pros and cons of both. Gamma Knife seems less invasive, but also seems to require continued monitoring and risk of regrowth. Surgery seems more invasive, longer recovery period, but also one and done. My partner is also middle aged, so "perhaps" less risk from radiation than with a younger person.

How have others weighed the pros and cons of Surgery vs Gamma Knife?

Thanks for any advice!!!

bfoley

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Re: Surgery vs Gamma Knife?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2020, 06:45:43 am »
Clover - welcome to you and your partner!  Its the club that no one wants to join but everyone is friendly.

If you have read through the forums, you will know that each person needs to meet with various care team, read up on the side effects, and make a decision for themselves.  We all have reasons for choosing the treatment (or non-treatment) option that we did.

I was (and still am) an active 55 yo.  I read up on outcomes from each type of treatment, then when I decided on a treatment, found a facility that treats A LOT of them, with my chosen treatment.  I did not want to be anyone's practice patient. 

I chose Gamma Knife at Mayo Clinic in MN.  Dr Link does both surgery and Gamma.  Cyber Knife is not an option near me.  If I had to so surgery, it would be translab, as I went from 95% word recognition in January to no hearing in April, so I am now SSD.  I wear (hearing aids) a transmitter on the bad side which feeds into my good side.  Everything sounds from the left, but I can pick up things I would not be able to without  wearing them.  The tinnitus is fairly bothersome at times.  It interferes with hearing with or without the aid.  Please be patient with your partner if this is their situation.  Mine has been a trooper through the whole thing, and never gets frustrated when having to repeat things.

You have a group of folks who understand your situation, and I would ask the you or your partner keep us informed on how your journey is going!

Best of luck!

Greece Lover

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Re: Surgery vs Gamma Knife?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2020, 09:40:05 am »
Good comments from bfoley.  Everyone has to navigate a path for what they think is the best.  For me, I chose surgery for two reasons: 1. I wanted it out of my head and to be able to move on with my life.  2. It gave me a chance (about 60%) of long term saving my hearing. 

If your partner is a candidate for middle fossa, the ability to save hearing could go up, especially with a small tumor like 14mm.

Some people on this forum often want to argue for their preferred method, but you have to make the decision that's best for you. I'm elated with what I chose, but its not for everyone.
Good luck!

Vestibular Schwannoma 1.2 cm. Right side.
Middle fossa surgery at University of Iowa on May 9 2016.
Hearing saved.  Face is fine. Balance pretty darn good most days.
One year follow up MRI showed not tumor.  No MRI for four more years!

clover

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Re: Surgery vs Gamma Knife?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2020, 10:42:48 am »
Quote
Everyone has to navigate a path for what they think is the best.  For me, I chose surgery for two reasons: 1. I wanted it out of my head and to be able to move on with my life.  2. It gave me a chance (about 60%) of long term saving my hearing.

If your partner is a candidate for middle fossa, the ability to save hearing could go up, especially with a small tumor like 14mm.

Quote
I was (and still am) an active 55 yo.  I read up on outcomes from each type of treatment, then when I decided on a treatment, found a facility that treats A LOT of them, with my chosen treatment.  I did not want to be anyone's practice patient.

I chose Gamma Knife at Mayo Clinic in MN.  Dr Link does both surgery and Gamma.  Cyber Knife is not an option near me.  If I had to so surgery, it would be translab, as I went from 95% word recognition in January to no hearing in April, so I am now SSD.

Thank you Greece Lover and BFoley for sharing your experience and respective treatment paths. I'm just beginning to realize that there are no clear or perfect options, and that we'll only know the right path after a series of consultations. I'm grateful for this website and the discovery of this supportive community.

Greece Lover

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Re: Surgery vs Gamma Knife?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2020, 08:19:14 am »
glad to be of help.  Feel free to DM me if I can be of further assistance.  You're right that one of the weird things about these tumors is the variety of treatment modalities available.  That can be frustrating.  But, these tumors are "good" because they grow slowly and are benign, so there's no pressure to make a decision immediately.
Good luck!
Vestibular Schwannoma 1.2 cm. Right side.
Middle fossa surgery at University of Iowa on May 9 2016.
Hearing saved.  Face is fine. Balance pretty darn good most days.
One year follow up MRI showed not tumor.  No MRI for four more years!

 


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