What is a schwannoma?
A schwannoma is a type of tumor that grows on the tissue that covers nerves, called nerve sheath. These are the most common type of benign tumors in adults. A schwannoma typically forms in a single bundle within the main nerve, displacing the rest of the nerve. If untreated, it can cause nerve damage and loss of muscle control. Schwannomas are rarely cancerous.
UTHealth Neurosciences doctors are well-equipped to provide advanced and personalized treatment.
What You Can Expect at UTHealth Neurosciences
At UTHealth Neurosciences, our dedicated team uses the latest technology to accurately diagnose and treat each patient. We work in multidisciplinary teams of specialists who share insights, leading to better treatment decisions and outcomes. Throughout the treatment process, we will work closely with the doctor who referred you to ensure a smooth transition back to your regular care. While you are with us, you will receive expert care, excellent communication, and genuine compassion.
Causes of schwannoma
Schwannomas usually develop in otherwise healthy people for no apparent reason. Schwannomas are sometimes caused by genetic disorders, including neurofibromatosis or Carney complex.
Signs of schwannoma
Patients may notice a painless lump. There may be pain, muscle weakness, tingling or numbness associated with the tumor as well. It could also cause hearing problems or facial paralysis.
A doctor will conduct a physical and neurological exam. If signs and symptoms suggest a schwannoma, your doctor will likely order a diagnostic imaging test, which could include an MRI, CT, EMG or nerve conduction study. A biopsy might be conducted to confirm the diagnosis.
Depending on the location and growth rate, treatment may involve surgery and your team of medical providers might consider also radiation or stereotactic radiosurgery.
A team of oncologists, neurosurgeons, and neurologists will develop a comprehensive treatment plan. In many cases, neurosurgeons will first attempt to remove as much of the tumor as possible without harming the surrounding tissue. If any tumor remains, the team will consider radiation or chemotherapy.
At UTHealth Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-8000, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.