What is an Ear Tumor?

A mass or growth of abnormal cells may develop and grow in the middle, inner, or outer ear, forming a tumor. Some ear tumors can be cancerous, particularly on the outer ear, but most ear tumors are benign. Tumors that develop in the middle and inner ear can cause hearing loss. Tumors in the middle ear are called glomus tumors. Tumors in the inner ear are called acoustic neuromas.

A surgery is performed to address and effectively glomus tumors and acoustic neuromas. Additionally, Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be performed to ensure the tumor doesn’t regrow. Smaller tumors can sometimes be treated by Gamma Knife radiosurgery alone.

Doctor looking into a woman's ear

What are the Symptoms of a Middle or Inner Ear Tumor?

Symptoms of a middle or inner ear tumor may vary, depending on the type of tumor. Indications of a middle or inner ear tumor may include the following:

  • Hearing loss
  • Lack of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Bleeding from the ear
  • Ear pain
  • A sensation of fullness in the ear
  • Headaches
  • Ringing or a pulsating sound in the ear
  • A bump on the outer part of the ear

How are Ear Tumors Treated?

If the tumor is smaller, it may be treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a short procedure that doesn’t require incisions. The tumor is directly addressed with radiation, but the rest of the brain is not dosed. Gamma Knife radiosurgery helps to stop or slow the growth of the tumor.  
 
A larger tumor that is growing and affecting hearing or balance requires surgery. Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be performed after the surgery to help ensure there is no regrowth of the  tumor. 

Ear tumor surgery begins with general anesthesia. The tumor is carefully removed through an incision in the middle ear or through a window incision in the skull. Depending on the size of the tumor and its location, ear tumor surgery takes between 4-6 hours.

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About Texas ENT Specialists

Texas ENT Specialists provides comprehensive ENT care for all your concerns and conditions. With 15 convenient locations across the greater Houston area, we’re always here when you need us. We pride ourselves on our:

Personalized Treatment

All of your services and treatments will be customized to fit your specific needs. We know that each patient is unique — and your treatment should be, too.

Top-Rated Physician Network

Each of our locations has providers who are board-certified and fellowship-trained, so you can rest assured that you’re in excellent hands.

Centers of Excellence

Our locations are equipped with the latest technology so that we can provide thorough care and deliver a seamless patient experience.

Continuity of Care

Our goal is always long-term relief. We provide treatments with this goal always at the forefront.

Recovery After Ear Tumor Treatment

If you had Gamma Knife radiosurgery alone, the recovery period is short. Patients can return home after the procedure. Headaches and nausea are expected for the following 1-2 days. Once these effects subside, patients generally feel comfortable returning to work or their usual activities.

After surgery for an ear tumor, patients will need to spend 3-4 days in the hospital where they can be monitored during their recovery for any signs of side effects. Once patients return home, they will need about two weeks of downtime to rest and recuperate, after which the sutures and staples will be removed. 
Patients are usually healed after about 4-6 weeks. At that point, they can return to their usual activities, work, and exercise. 

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Doctor looking into a man's ear

Who is a Candidate for Ear Tumor Surgery?

Patients who have an ear tumor are generally candidates for ear tumor surgery. Ideal candidates should meet the following qualifications:

  • Are in good physical health
  • Have no serious medical concerns, such as a bleeding disorder
  • Are not taking or can stop taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin
  • Have a medium or large-sized ear tumor
  • The ear tumor is growing
  • Have symptoms including hearing loss, balance problems, and pain
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Doctor treating a child

Why Choose Texas ENT Specialists for Ear Tumor Surgery?

At Texas ENT Specialists, we offer comprehensive ear, nose, and throat care to patients in 15 locations across the state of Texas. Our facilities are staffed with board-certified ENT specialists and surgeons who are highly trained and experienced in improving patient quality of life with lasting relief and providing the highest level of care.

With 15 convenient locations across the greater Houston area, we’re never far away.

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