Having a small acoustic neuroma and increasing single-sided hearing loss presents a bewildering set of choices. I have that set of circumstances, and I'll just make some comments.
On at least a weekly basis, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, in watching and waiting, but no regrets so far.
My comments are not meant to guide your choice at all. I'm just identifying with what you're saying.
1. Having a growth on a cranial nerve that is causing symptoms is alarming. One gets medical opinions, and one expects some sort of consensus opinion to develop. Often, with smaller acoustic neuromas, people do not get consensus opinions.
2. I was advised by MD experts to wait for 6 months for a repeat MRI, to measure growth. I did do that, while collecting more opinions, re: surgery and radiation. It was NOT easy to wait, as I was losing hearing and scared. But I'm glad I waited.
3. Surgeons will most often be confident in the surgical options, and specifically in the types of surgery that they perform. Those MDs who treat with radiation are often advocates for that being the better option for smaller acoustic neuromas. There is no consensus, alas. Outcomes overall are considered similar.
4. And so, the patient is asked to choose, basically. When you choose your treatment, you sort of simultaneously choose your MD. (I would say it's important to choose your treatment, but for some people, they choose their MD and go with that person's advice. There's no right or wrong way, really.)
5. And, if you choose watch and wait, you can later change your mind based on MRIs, symptoms, your doctor's advice, or your situation or opinion.
5. There does seem to be some consensus that a small acoustic neuroma does not need an immediate treatment, all other things being equal.
6. The treatment choices each have a variety of risks. Do your homework on these rather considerable risks. Videos on the ANA site are excellent for this.
7. The ANA chatboard has a lot of patient stories. The only area of consensus I see is that people STRONGLY advise to go to a medical center and choose a medical team with a great reputation and great experience. Elsewhere here on the chatboard you can find those names. It is such a difficult surgery, for instance, that you want the best team you can find, and that means reputation and experience matter. A lot.
Sorry you are going through this.