According to a research, patient's age has to be taken into consideration before deciding to operate on acoustic neuroma. Acoustic neuroma (sometimes known as acoustic swannoma) is a benign tumour affecting the eighth cranial nerve and leading to a sudden loss of hearing and problems with balance. Standard treatment is removal by surgery - but there's some debate as to whether this is worthwhile in older people with limited life expectancy. For any brain surgery can lead to adverse effects, such as further loss of hearing.
The researchers, from Santa Clara, USA, studied the effect of age on outcome in surgery for acoustic neuroma. They concluded that acoustic neuroma patients over 60 should only be treated by surgery if the tumour is large and pressing upon the brainstem, or with rapidly worsening symptoms. Otherwise, it may be better to leave well alone.