- Schwannomas are benign tumors of the nerve sheath that grow slowly and push nerve fibers aside. They occur most often as solitary tumor but on occasion as multiple lesions.
- Schwannomas can arise from any peripheral nerve containing Schwann cells, including cranial nerves. (The sheath surrounding nerve cells outside the central nervous symptoms is made up of Schwann cells. They are important to nerve regeneration.)
- In most cases the cause of a schwannoma is unknown, although radiation is suspect on occasion.
Symptoms and diagnosis
- Mild nerve function problems or pain caused by pressure on the surrounding nerve are the usual symptoms.
- Patients may notice a lump when it arises in the superficial part of the forearm or hand with a tingling sensation over it.
- Schwanommas may arise from the deeper nerves as well. In such scenario often patient may be aware of its presence late.
- Schwannomas with symptoms are surgically removed. Some surgeons advocate removing asymptomatic lesions because they often will grow.
- In most cases surgical removal involves little or no injury to the parent nerve. Recurrences after total removal are rare.