The world-renowned USC Acoustic Neuroma Center in Los Angeles, CA is led by a team of exceptional surgeons. They include skull base Neurosurgeon Steven Giannotta, MD and Neurotologists, John S. Oghalai, MD and Courney Voelker, MD, PhD.
Our center is committed to exceptional outcomes and comprehensive care for the treatment of acoustic neuroma. While utilizing the most advanced technologies in modern facilities, we specialize in all forms of care and offer individualized treatment paths including observation, radiosurgery and all micro-surgical approaches.
Our program recognizes that the acoustic neuroma journey is complex with many factors to be considered. Our highly experienced team strives to support patients with a customized plan that begins with the first phone call to long after the day of treatment. Educating patients and their loved ones is at the heart of what we do.
If you would like more information about our center or if you would like to have a complimentary review of your records, please call 323-442-4827.
Two Opportunities of a Lifetime
By Dawn Fishback, PA-C
As I lay in the MRI scanner in January 1982, I knew something was wrong. Being a PA Student at USC’s Physician's Assistant (PA) Program, I knew the numbness I was feeling on the left side of my face was not normal.
Sure enough, I was right. My general surgeon friend called me with the results. He started with, “I have some good news and some bad news, which do you want first?” He told me I had a large tumor which was probably an acoustic neuroma. (That was the bad news). The good news was that it is 99% benign and, “I’ve got just the neurosurgeon for you who can take it out…Steven Giannotta, MD at USC.”
Being in the medical profession, I knew I needed to get a few opinions. I first saw a famous neurosurgeon who told me in his hands, there was a 0% risk to my facial nerve. Even though my husband liked this percentage, I told him that this neurosurgeon wasn’t going to touch me. I value honesty and this guy obviously was lacking in this area.
Dr. Giannotta was honest, comforting, confident and encouraged me to seek out other opinions. He most wanted me to be comfortable with my decision as to who would do my surgery. Now this is someone who I could trust!
After seeing four neurosurgeons, I chose Dr. Giannotta. Once I made that decision, everything was out of my hands. The only thing I had control of was picking my neurosurgeon. After that, the outcome is in his and God’s hands, and I was then able to relax.
I had a translabyrinthine craniotomy on February 28, 1990. Dr. Giannotta was able to resect all of the tumor and save my face. One hundred percent successful. At my first post-op visit, he offered me a job saying, “Someday when the new hospital opens and we get busy, I would love for you to be my PA. You have something to offer my patients that I can’t… empathy.” I knew I wanted to specialize in a surgical specialty but had no idea it would be neurosurgery. It was at this point that I realized why God gave me this tumor. I have the opportunity to work with a world-renowned neurosurgeon and be able to care for patients who are going through exactly what I experienced. I am blessed!
It’s been almost 26 years since I became Dr. Giannotta’s PA and what a fantastic career I have had. He has given me two gifts… curing my tumor allowing me to live a full life with no limitations, and the professional opportunity of a lifetime to be able to care for his patients. I am able to watch the miracles he performs every day here at Keck Medical Center of USC and am forever grateful!
Note: In no case does ANA endorse any commercial products, surgeon, medical procedure, medical institution or its staff.