The University of Arizona
Department of Surgery

Meningioma - Posterior Fossa and Petroclival

Meningiomas are typically benign (non-cancerous), slow-growing tumors that originate from arachnoidal cells, cells that make up a membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. While slow growing, they can produce serious symptoms if left untreated, including headaches, hearing loss, facial problems and seizures. Posterior fossa and petroclival meningiomas are located on the underside of the brain, which makes them difficult to treat. Meningiomas in these locations may affect the trigeminal nerve (which may cause a feeling of abnormal sensations in the face), the vestibulocochlear nerve (which can cause hearing/balance abnormalities) and the facial nerve (which results in facial weakness).

Posterior fossa or petroclival meningiomas are diagnosed using imaging studies such as CT and MRI scans. If the tumors are slow growing and not causing any neurological symptoms, serial MRI imaging to monitor growth is an option. Because posterior fossa and petroclival meningiomas are located on the underside of the brain, surgical removal is complex. When indicated, such procedures require a team of surgeons, including a neurotologist and neurosurgeon. Stereotactic radiation therapy may be an option for some patients.

Why Us? 
  • The University of Arizona’s Department of Surgery/Division of Otolaryngology has recruited top-tier, fellowship-trained faculty to Tucson, bringing subspecialty expertise to the Southwest.
  • UA Otolaryngology faculty members are experts in caring for common as well as complex ear, nose and throat diseases in children as well as adults.
  • Dr. Abraham Jacob, fellowship trained in Otology, Neurotology, and Cranial Base Surgery, is the first Neurotologist recruited to the Tucson area.
  • With the only university-based Otology/Neurotology program in the state of Arizona, Dr. Jacob’s active laboratory and clinical research program ensures that patients are offered only the most up-to-date treatment options. Dr. Jacob has a specific interest in understanding meningiomas at the cellular level. His basic science research laboratory is currently trying to target key molecules in these cells for the development of novel drug treatments.
  • The University of Arizona is the only medical facility in Tucson currently offering the partnered, multidisciplinary services of a neurotologist and skull base neurosurgeon for the surgical resection of posterior fossa meningiomas. State-of-the-art services are also available for those choosing stereotactic radiation therapy.

Patient Information