Post-GK Problems Painful but Temporary
Lynn Skousen's story

My name is Lynn Skousen, female, 54 yrs old.  I was diagnosed March 1998; 2cm by 1cm acoustic neuroma.  I was treated on June 16, 1998 by Gamma Knife at the San Diego Gamma Knife Ctr in  La Jolla, CA.  My doctor was Dr. Kenneth Ott, Neurosurgeon.

Symptoms Before Treatment: Tinnitus continuously for 5 years, some hearing loss at that point, could still hear using the phone. ENT suggested MRI as only one ear was ringing. Tumor discovered! (unfortunately!)

The Gamma Knife treatment itself was no problem. Everyone was very professional and I actually went out for a nice lunch about an hour after we were done! We drove back to Phoenix from San Diego the next day. Only had slight swelling around eye where "pin site" was a little lower than on the other side. Went back to work a few days later almost like nothing had happened!

By 6 month follow up MRI I had lost most of my hearing in that ear, can no longer hear on the phone. The tinnitus is somewhat louder and I also have a felling of pressure/heaviness in that ear like you have when you are at a high altitude, there most of the time. My 6 month MRI showed tumor slightly larger and had enlarging necrotic area inside it. This was the evaluation from the MRI office. Dr. Ott, however, after reviewing the scans, thought things were alright and told me to have another MRI after another year, which would be December 1999.

Right around the six month timeframe, I began to have severe attacks of what the oncologist on my team said was trigeminal nerve pain. I had about six of these which lasted from about 10 hrs to 2 days. Indescribable pain which included pain in the cheekbone area, eye, stabbing pains inside the ear and pain in the bone behind the ear! The oncologist said they should be temporary and they were. I haven't had an attack for about 4 months. I have had very manageable balance problems.

At this point, I am simply going to wait and go for the next MRI in December 1999.  

Lynn Skousen <LSko590387 AT aol.com>
November, 1998


Update

(12/99)  I just had my 18 month MRI and the tumor has shrunk from 2cm x 1cm to 1.5cm x 1cm.

(6/02) It has been 4 years since my Gamma Knife treatment at the San Diego Gamma Knife Center. My AN now measures 1.4 x 0.6 cm (originally 2 x 1 cm). My hearing loss remains the same, as does the tinnitus and slight balance problems. The painful attacks I mentioned in my original posting have never returned! I am very pleased with the option I chose. Information is power!

Last Edited: Saturday, November 23, 2002

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