Glomus Tumor Patient Information Sheet
For more detailed, technical information about glomus jugulare, please read our glomus jugulare patient information sheet (PDF).
UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Comprehensive Skull Base Program provides exceptional treatment for rare and complex skull base disorders such as glomus tumors, combining a multidisciplinary approach with the latest techniques and technology.
Patients with glomus tumors have access to a world-class neurological surgery center, a state-of-the-art neuro intensive care unit, and coordinated post-surgical recovery services.
Glomus tumor is a slow-growing, vascular tumor located at the skull base. Also known as a glomus jugulare, glomus tumor is the most common tumor of the temporal bone, which contains the middle and inner portions of the ear.
Specialists at UT Southwestern are experts at diagnosing and treating glomus tumors, using the latest in image guidance and microsurgical techniques as well as rehabilitative services to restore quality of life for each patient.
Patients often hear their own heartbeat in the affected ear. Other symptoms can include:
In rare cases, a patient will experience pain or bleeding from the ear.
This tumor is often diagnosed through a simple physical exam. Physicians at UT Southwestern are experts at distinguishing glomus tumor from glomus tympanicum, another common tumor affecting the ear that can have an identical appearance to the glomus jugulare tumor.
Glomus jugulare tumors grow on the jugular bulb, while glomus tympanicum tumors grow in the middle ear space. Distinguishing these tumors can typically be done through a detailed ear microscope exam or with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan. This distinction is important because the two types of tumor require different treatment.
Treatment of a glomus tumor depends on a patient’s age, overall health, symptoms, and the size of the tumor. Physicians at UT Southwestern collaborate to determine what approach will work best for each patient.
Treatment plans can include:
Recovery depends on the location, size, and invasiveness of the tumor. Specialists at UT Southwestern work with each patient to address any postoperative issues, such as:
Patients also benefit from the leading research conducted at UT Southwestern, which often includes clinical trials offered at few other centers in the country and which helps speed better treatment to patients.
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