If you have been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, chances are this is a new experience for you, and you may be unsure of the next steps to take. This may seem overwhelming at first, but it does not need to be. Taking time to learn more about your condition and the treatment options available to you in the tri-state area is a great way to set your mind at ease, and the information here is designed to help guide you through the process and give you a sense of direction. Read on to learn more about what you can do following your acoustic neuroma diagnosis and what to expect along the way.
More About Your Acoustic Neuroma
If you have just received your acoustic neuroma diagnosis, you may be in the beginning stages of learning about your condition. Should that be the case, a quick overview of your condition may be helpful. An acoustic neuroma is a benign brain tumor which develops from the vestibulocochlear nerve, the cranial nerve that transmits information about hearing and balance. This is why you may be experiencing symptoms such as dizziness or hearing loss.
Although your acoustic neuroma is benign and is not cancer, it does have the potential grow large enough to press on nearby structures, which can cause damage and/or produce symptoms, requiring treatment. However, because acoustic neuromas can vary in size and location, it is important to work with a specialist in NJ who has the knowledge and experience to recommend the most appropriate treatment for you.
Finding the Right Neurosurgeon
Chances are you have never had to find a neurosurgeon to treat an acoustic neuroma before, but that’s okay. Take a moment to think about your goals and develop a game plan, and let that guide you along the way. You are likely looking for a neurosurgeon in northern NJ who is experienced in treating acoustic neuroma. You may have personal qualities you look for in a doctor. The next step is figuring out how to start your search.
Ask for Recommendations
A great way to find a neurosurgeon is to ask for recommendations from people you trust. This could be friends, family, co-workers or even your general physician. You may not find anyone who has received an acoustic neuroma diagnosis, but asking around could lead you to a neurosurgeon who does have experience with your condition. You may also be able to reach out to your insurance company, who can give you a list of neurosurgeons who treat acoustic neuroma in the tri-state area.
Look to Reviews
A second helpful resource is online reviews written by people who have also been treated for acoustic neuroma to learn about their experiences. As you read through patient testimonials, you can gauge how patients felt about their procedures and how they were treated as patients, helping you find the right neurosurgeon for you.
Consider Qualities Important to You
Before you begin your search, spend a few minutes thinking about what qualities you value in your neurosurgeon. You may even wish to write them down and keep an eye out for keywords as you read online reviews or read through neurosurgeons’ websites. This can help you focus your search, homing in on a neurosurgeon who meets your individual needs. Some qualities you may wish to consider include:
Choosing a Treatment Path
Once you find an experienced neurosurgeon in northern NJ, the two of you will work together to develop a treatment plan based on your unique condition. During this time, your neurosurgeon will review your medical records and imaging and may order further tests. The two of you will also likely have a conversation about your personal treatment needs, such as preferring a minimally invasive approach.
When your neurosurgeon has all the necessary information, the next step will be to consider all the available treatment options in light of your personal health factors, including other medical conditions and the characteristics of your acoustic neuroma. Your neurosurgeon will take into consideration the benefits and risks of every treatment for your specific case and recommend the procedure he or she feels is most appropriate for you.
Treatment options for acoustic neuroma include monitoring, surgery and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Your neurosurgeon will discuss these options with you during the treatment planning process and why he or she recommends one over the others for you specifically.
Take Your Next Steps with Confidence
At this point, you have a list of actionable steps you can take following your acoustic neuroma diagnosis and a better idea of what to expect. It’s time to begin looking for a neurosurgeon experienced with your condition. Ask those you trust and look to the experiences of others shared via online reviews to start to learn more about neurosurgeons in northern NJ. Consider those qualities you desire in your neurosurgeon, such as compassion and experience, and keep an eye open for keywords and phrases as you do your research.
Next, you’ll need to meet with the neurosurgeon you have chosen, and the two of you will begin working together to choose the right treatment path for you. This could include monitoring, surgery and/or Gamma Knife radiosurgery, based on your individual condition and health factors.
Continue to educate yourself and learn more about your condition and treatment. The better your understanding, the less you will feel like things are happening to you throughout the process. Rather, you can play an active role in your care, giving you confidence and peace of mind along the way.