The nervous system can be affected by tumors, causing pain and dysfunction. One type of congenital tumor that affects the nervous system is neurofibromatosis (NF). This genetic disease often begins showing signs in childhood. Treatment is needed to reduce pressure on the nerves for development and overall health. At the Vascular Birthmark Institute, we offer treatment for those suffering from neurofibromatosis to minimize pain, dysfunction and the impact on sensory and mental development.
When neurofibromatosis is present, a slow-growing tumor forms on nerve tissue. Most of these tumors are benign but can become malignant. The pressure on the nerves can also have detrimental complications, including hearing or vision loss, developmental disabilities, disfigurement, cardiovascular issues and extreme pain.
Treatment for neurofibromatosis can include surgical removal of the tumor and medications to control pain. Our team at Vascular Birthmark Institute can help our patients determine the best course of treatments through careful monitoring of the tumor and as symptoms reveal themselves. We partner with neurologists who specialize in the treatment of NF.
Symptoms of Neurofibromatosis
There are three forms of neurofibromatosis, NF1, NF2 and schwannomatosis. NF1 is the most common, which can be apparent at birth and in early childhood. Some of the symptoms of this form include:
- Six or more light brown spots on the skin (café-au-lait macule)
- Tiny bumps on the iris of the eye (Lisch nodules)
- Freckling in the armpits or groin area in early childhood
- ADHD or learning disabilities
- Optic nerve tumors
- Soft benign tumors under the skin
- Short stature and larger than average head size
NF2, or vestibular schwannomas, is rarer and is characterized by benign tumors in the ears that can cause hearing loss. Schwannomatosis is very rare and impacts adults over the age of 20 with cranial and peripheral nerve tumors, with weakness, numbness and loss of muscle in the body.
If your child was born with any form of neurofibromatosis, contact our team at Vascular Birthmark Institute today. We offer the highest caliber team of specialists for treatment options for these disorders.