Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins Suffered from Acoustic Neuroma (Brain Tumor)
It was revealed in Oct 2009 that celebrity Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC fame (Celebrity Apprentice), that she was diagnosed with a type of benign brain tumor called acoustic neuroma. She underwent surgery in 2006 to have it removed and experienced a difficult recovery especially with balance.
One of the earliest symptom of this type of brain tumor is an asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss (ASNHL) or a sudden hearing loss only in one ear (SSNHL). This type of unusual hearing loss is when one ear hears much worse than the other and can only be diagnosed on a hearing test audiogram. Should ASNHL be found on audiogram, an MRI scan of the Internal Auditory Canal with gadolinium contrast is often ordered to evaluate further. An ABR (auditory brainstem response) test may also be ordered instead of MRI, but is not considered as good a test.
Should an acoustic neuroma be found, the surgery to remove it is usually performed jointly by a neuro-otologic surgeon as well as neurosurgeon. In our area, there are only a few surgeons able to perform this type of surgery including Drs. Kesser and Hashisaki at University of Virginia as well as Dr. Bryan McKenzie in Fairfax, VA. Our office can evaluate and diagnose, but we are unable to perform this type of surgery.
Read more about Tionne's struggle here.