Vestibular tumor

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Vestibular tumors are growths that tend to develop underneath the serous tissue of the sublinguinal region. They may be found anywhere between the chin and the larynx (or voicebox) and are not more inclined to one side of the body than the other. They are predominantly present in adolescent females though they are not directly related to any hygienal issues. While surgery is the most often cure, deaths rarely occur due to the existence of vestibular tumors.

Historical Perspective

The first reported case of a vestibular tumor was in 1898 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Though there have been stories of growths of the like of vestibular tumors, this was the first medically reported case. At the time, surgery was too dangerous, so Emilia Walfen was forced to live with the tumor, which eventually grew to the size of a Concord grape.

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

While they are not always life threatening, vestibular tumors pose a major health impediment. First of all, they can grow to be quite noticeable and after reaching a large size, are often easily irritable. Secondly they can lead to difficulty swallowing due to the pressure on the tongue or pharynx.

Treatment

Surgery and Device Based Therapy

Surgery is most often the decision made by the patients and it is rather affordable though if not treated may lead to life-long problems.


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