The House Clinic now offers patients an alternative treatment for acoustic neuromas with the use of the Gamma Knife® at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles. The House Clinic, with locations in Los Angeles, Encino, Huntington Beach, Orange County, and Santa Monica, Calif, has been advancing hearing treatments since 1946.

Acoustic neuroma (or vestibular schwannoma) is one of the most common types of brain tumors. It is a benign, non-cancerous, often slow-growing tumor on the vestibular nerve that runs alongside the auditory and facial nerves connecting the ear to the brain. Acoustic neuromas account for 6% of all primary intracranial tumors, and if not removed, can cause hearing loss, balance or facial nerve problems, and even death.

Though several forms of treatment for acoustic neuromas are available, the primary form of treatment is surgery. Depending on the size of the tumor, about half of all acoustic neuromas are presently treated by surgically removing the tumor preventing complications from tumor growth. Surgery may enable preservation of hearing, but the process may result in a longer recovery time. About 95% of patients with small and medium tumors have no permanent facial paralysis following surgery; however, roughly a third of patients with large tumors will have some permanent facial weakness following surgery.

The Gamma Knife is an alternative treatment for selected acoustic neuromas with minimal short and long-term risks. The Gamma Knife is a 20-ton medical instrument that emits 201 focused beams of gamma radiation into the direct location of the tumor with pinpoint precision and minimum effect of the surrounding healthy tissues with no incisions.

“By adding the Gamma Knife to our broad range of treatment options, our patients will now benefit from a comprehensive approach to their care.” Says Derald E. Brackman, MD, president of the House Clinic. “Good Samaritan Hospital has a long tradition of care in Los Angeles and we at the House Clinic are very excited to be a part of that tradition.”

[SOURCE: Business Wire, July 28, 2006]