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Image of the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute team at Saddleback Medical Center

Skull Base Brain Tumor Center

At the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute at Saddleback Medical Center, our team provides a multi-disciplinary approach for the diagnosis and treatment of skull base tumors. 

Skull base tumors are not a particular type of brain tumor, but rather those that grow in a particular location: the bones of the skull that form the bottom of the head and the bony ridge behind the nose and eyes. 

Our expert team approach to skull base tumors brings together specialists from numerous disciplines to provide comprehensive, personalized care and treatment.

Your team may include surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, otolaryngologists, ophthalmologists, nurses and social workers. The Saddleback Medical Center team employs leading-edge technology and innovation to diagnose and treat skull base tumors, including minimally invasive surgery, radiotherapy, and oncologic treatment.

Surgical Expertise

Surgery is often a recommended course of treatment for skull base tumors. Treating skull base tumors and conditions is challenging due to the proximity to critical nerves and blood vessels in the brain, head, neck and spinal cord. 

Our surgeons utilize the newest techniques and technologies that allow for concentrated, safe removal of tumors in this delicate and intricate area. They are experts in open and minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical approaches to skull base tumors – and are respected around across the region.

Advanced Radiation Therapy, Rehabilitation

For patients with skull base tumors that are responsive to radiation therapy, radiation oncologists prepare treatment plans for the precise delivery of therapy. At the MemorialCare Cancer Institute, our expert team of radiation oncologists employ personalized, precise radiation treatment for patients using the latest technology and innovations.

Many patients who overcome limitations caused by skull based tumors or treatment are assisted by caring professionals at Saddleback Medical Center including audiologists, speech and language therapists, occupational, physical, speech and swallowing therapists.

We are here to help. Find a surgeon who treats skull base tumors.


Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuroma, also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a rare, noncancerous tumor. It is usually a slow-growing tumor on a nerve in the inner ear that connects the ear to the brain, controlling hearing and balance. Although acoustic neuroma is often benign, if left untreated, the tumor can grow and press on surrounding structures in the brain that control hearing and other vital functions.

  • Symptoms: The first symptoms of acoustic neuroma are typically hearing disturbances on one side of your head. These can include ringing in the ear, dizziness or loss of balance. As the tumor grows larger, it can lead to other symptoms such as facial numbness and tingling, headaches and mental confusion. These symptoms can mimic other conditions, so it is important to get see a physician for a proper diagnosis.
  • Treatment: Acoustic neuroma is treated at Saddleback Medical Center through the Skull Base Brain Tumor Program, which is part of our Neuroscience Institute. Depending on the size of the tumor, symptoms and other factors such as age, our specialists can treat acoustic neuroma through surgery or a combination of surgery and radiation therapy. We also offer rehabilitation for patients who need it after treatment.