May 8, 2019

I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma on January 3rd, 2019. It came as a shock when my doctor told me that they had incidentally found a 3.1 centimeter brain tumor on my hearing nerve. Without any symptoms of any sort, I was in disbelief. My doctor told me he wanted me to go down to Los Angeles the next day to visit the doctors at the House Ear Clinic.

At my appointment, I met with Dr. Kevin Peng. He assured me that although my tumor was on the large side, they would be able to help me. After reviewing my MRI, Dr. Kevin Peng and Dr. Gregory Lekovic (neurosurgeon) decided to take the translabyrinthine approach to removing my tumor. I was depressed at the thought and possibility that I’d never be able to smile the same, or show natural facial expressions. As a salesman, I rely heavily on my face throughout the day when I talk to customers, and interact with colleagues.

Going into my surgery, I was preparing for my life to drastically change afterwards. Dr. Peng and Dr. Lekovic worked for fourteen hours to remove my tumor, alongside many brilliant surgeons, specialists, and nurses. Miraculously, they saved my face! All of my friends and family have said they couldn’t tell I’d just had brain surgery.

I spent four days afterwards recovering at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and was able to walk independently on the fourth day. Dr. Michael Stefan (Internist) was so kind and checked on me each day while I was in the hospital, and the nurses were all so kind and caring. Each surgeon and specialist also checked on me post op to ensure I was doing fine.

I am a few days past the two month marker of my surgery, and my life is completely back to normal. I walk every day, drive, get together with friends and go to work again. Although I have lost all hearing in my right ear, it is a small price to pay. I would recommend anyone with an acoustic neuroma to go straight to the House Ear Clinic. They saved my life, and I am forever grateful!


Tzen Kuen Wu

― Tzen Wu, Acoustic Neuroma, Los Angeles CA