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HomeTestimonials Decision MakingDid the Tumor Recur or Were the Doctors Just Dizzy?

Did the Tumor Recur or Were the Doctors Just Dizzy?

Mrs. Garen has a history of an inner ear tumor, so when she began feeling dizzy her doctors were quick to interpret her symptoms as a recurrence and recommended surgery. Fortunately, she turned to Medix and found out that surgery would not be necessary

Were the students too loud? Mrs. Garen, a 50 year old school teacher living in Malawi, felt hearing loss and tinnitus.


In 2007 she was diagnosed by MRI with an acoustic neuroma, a slow growing benign tumour of the inner ear. She then underwent Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in Bangkok which was very effective and resolved her symptoms. In the years after this treatment, Mrs. Garen travelled frequently to various African destinations making monitoring of her condition difficult.


A few years later Mrs. Garen became prone to episodes of vertigo, headaches and a sharp pain behind her ear. The vertigo would sometimes start while she was driving and persist for days at a time, leaving her to helplessly wait for the episodes to pass.


Given her history of illness, she was immediately sent for a repeat MRI. Local doctors in Malawi informed her that based on the imaging; she has had a recurrence of her neuroma. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery was not available in Malawi and so Mrs. Garen’s local options were limited. Seeing as her condition was quite rare and due to the questionable quality of medical expertise in Malawi, Mrs. Garen felt that some reassurance and guidance with regard to the diagnosis and course of treatment was in order. At this point she turned to Medix for help.


The first thing that Medix did was send her Brain MRI for review, recognizing that this was the key determining factor in creating a treatment plan. As soon as the results were reviewed by a Medix Neuroradiologist, it became apparent that the images would not suffice. The quality of the test was very poor and the imaging modality that was applied was ill-suited to address the questions at hand. Mrs. Garen was immediately referred for a repeat MRI.


Once the new results arrived, the entire medical case was sent for review by two world-renowned specialists for this condition in France and the US. Both specialists replied with the same conclusion: The neuroma hadn’t grown at all since the end of her treatment in 2007 and was therefore unrelated to the symptoms that she was experiencing. The consultants concluded that invasive treatments such as radiosurgery and surgical removal of the neuroma were not necessary and furthermore, the vertigo and dizziness can be treated effectively using medications.


Mrs. Garen was prescribed a course of Betahistine, an anti-vertigo drug which had an almost immediate effect. Two months after starting treatment, her vertigo had all but stopped, the dizziness had resolved and she was back to performing day to day tasks that up until that point had been impossible.


 Medix was able to provide an expert review of Mrs. Garen’s case in a location where the local level of care would not have permitted and helped her find a solution without traveling or undergoing invasive procedures. Mrs. Garen continues to feel well and is regularly seen by her GP and ENT specialist. 


Names have been changed to protect the privacy of Medix clients

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