Your peripheral nerves are protected and supported by special cells called Schwann cells. When these cells grow abnormally and form a benign (noncancerous) tumor, it’s called a schwannoma.
Schwannomas are relatively rare, and the symptoms they cause depend on which nerves they affect, making them difficult to diagnose. Sometimes the symptoms can be quite debilitating, depending on which nerves they affect.
The exact reason some people develop schwannomas still isn’t well understood — especially since they tend to grow in otherwise healthy people. Treatment also varies based on the location and size of the tumor, and they often require specialized care.
At Anthony Echo, M.D., with multiple offices in Houston, our peripheral nerve and microsurgery surgeries expert specializes in removing these problem-causing tumors without damaging the sensitive nerve fibers they surround.
As a board-certified surgeon with extensive nerve tumor experience, Dr. Echo accurately diagnoses schwannomas and creates a customized treatment plan to address your symptoms.
Since it can be tricky to know if a schwannoma is responsible for your discomfort, here’s a look at four common problems these tumors can cause. If you suspect you have a schwannoma, don’t wait to contact Dr. Echo for personalized help.
1. A strange bump or lump
For many people, schwannomas first cause a visible bump or lump under the surface of your skin. At first, the bump might not cause any pain. In this case, Dr. Echo might recommend watching the schwannoma to see how it grows and whether treatment is required.
If you have a strange bump, be sure to have it evaluated since untreated schwannomas can grow and trigger complications, including nerve damage.
2. Pain, tingling, and numbness
Since schwannomas develop around your nerve fibers, they can lead to nerve symptoms, including:
- Pins and needles
- Heat sensations
If you have a strange bump or lump and notice these symptoms, a schwannoma is likely, so schedule an evaluation at Anthony Echo, M.D., to get early treatment.
As it grows, a schwannoma puts pressure on nearby nerves, which can interfere with nerve signals and cause weakness in the area served by the affected nerve. Weakness is almost always a sign your schwannoma requires treatment.
4. Loss of function
Over time, schwannomas cause nerve damage. They can even lead to loss of function as you lose control over the muscles associated with the nerves.
Fortunately, surgeons with peripheral nerve and microsurgery experience, like Dr. Echo, can remove the tumor and restore function to the affected nerves. If you’ve noticed a loss of function, don’t wait to schedule an appointment.
Worried you might have a schwannoma? Schedule an evaluation online or over the phone with Dr. Echo in Houston for a diagnosis and personalized schwannoma treatment plan.