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What happens if an acoustic neuroma grows beyond 3 cm in size?

Isaac Yang, MD
Neurosurgery
Once an acoustic neuroma grows past 3 cm, it will start causing a lot of brain stem compression. In the past, before MRIs, when it was harder to diagnose these tumors, they would get so large that people would be diagnosed with hydrocephalus. But the tumors that doctors see nowadays are commonly in the 3-cm range. The 3-cm number is very important because if it grows larger, you will start having brain stem compression. Once that happens, a whole different host of problems occur because your brain stem controls your awake status, your breathing status and the ability of fluid to drain out of your brain. The larger a tumor gets, the harder it is to treat.

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