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Eddie's Story

Eddie didn’t know he was having symptoms of a brain tumor. In fact, it was only discovered by chance after his primary care physician ordered an MRI for an unrelated problem.

But after he found out he had an acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous tumor on the nerve leading from the brain stem to the ear affects hearing and balance, the symptoms started to make sense.

The tinnitus, or ringing, in his ear for a year prior to his diagnosis, difficulty walking in a straight line, and brief bouts of dizziness, all were related to the tumor.

“I never really thought there was anything wrong other than the fact that I was just getting a little older,” Eddie says.

He was told by doctors in California that surgery would be difficult and that permanent hearing loss was likely. That just wasn’t a plan he was willing to take.

Eddie began to look into treatment options for his acoustic neuroma — including Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. And after researching the technique online, Eddie found a doctor — L. Dade Lunsford, MD.

Dr. Lunsford, director of the UPMC Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, is a pioneer in Gamma Knife® treatment.

After weighing his options, Eddie, and his family decided to make the 2,000-mile trip to Pittsburgh. Then, Dr. Lunsford and the medical team at UPMC were able to successfully shrink the tumor and preserve Eddie’s hearing.

Today, Eddie’s hearing is restored.


Learn more about UPMC's neurosurgery services.

Read more about Eddie’s story.