October 13, 2009

Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins Suffered from Acoustic Neuroma (Brain Tumor)

It was revealed in Oct 2009 that celebrity Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC fame (Celebrity Apprentice), that she was diagnosed with a type of benign brain tumor called acoustic neuroma. She underwent surgery in 2006 to have it removed and experienced a difficult recovery especially with balance.

One of the earliest symptom of this type of brain tumor is an asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss (ASNHL) or a sudden hearing loss only in one ear (SSNHL). This type of unusual hearing loss is when one ear hears much worse than the other and can only be diagnosed on a hearing test audiogram. Should ASNHL be found on audiogram, an MRI scan of the Internal Auditory Canal with gadolinium contrast is often ordered to evaluate further. An ABR (auditory brainstem response) test may also be ordered instead of MRI, but is not considered as good a test.

Should an acoustic neuroma be found, the surgery to remove it is usually performed jointly by a neuro-otologic surgeon as well as neurosurgeon. In our area, there are only a few surgeons able to perform this type of surgery including Drs. Kesser and Hashisaki at University of Virginia as well as Dr. Bryan McKenzie in Fairfax, VA. Our office can evaluate and diagnose, but we are unable to perform this type of surgery.

Read more about Tionne's struggle here.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

OMG!!! I has an Acoustic Neuroma tumor in my rt inner ear next to the blood vessels of the brain. It was removed in 1999 and I suffer from hearing loss in my right ear really trouble with my balance. I have terrible balance, I fall, trip and do not walk in a straight line at all. I really hate I had to have this tumor removed that was only the size of a pea. It has made my life a challenge to live without hearing and balance problems. I also suffer from c hronic nerve damage in my lower back from 2 back surgery's in 2005, having back problems and a balance problem is very difficult and I have raise 2 children by myself while going thru all these surgery's and dealing what happens after brain surgery. I can totally related with T Boz from the group TLC, sounds like we had a very similar surgery and history of the tumor. Please get a hold of me if u can and wanna talk, my name is Jennifer and can email me at pardenj25@att.net.....thank you!

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