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Neurotology and Skull-Based Surgery

At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s Listen for Life Center, there are three full-time, board-certified neurotologists/skull-base surgeons who are highly experienced in all of the conditions we treat.

Neurotologists are surgeons trained to use both medical and surgical interventions to treat diseases affecting the:

  • Ears and hearing system
  • Balance (vestibular) system
  • Lateral skull base and temporal bone

The lateral skull base and temporal bone is the bony area surrounding your ear and brain and the space inside your skull between your ear and your brainstem. Diseases affecting this area include vestibular schwannomas, paragangliomas, meningiomas and other more rare tumors.

Seth Schwartz, MDDaniel Zeitler, MD, and Alex Tampio, MD, are board-certified otolaryngologists—also called ears, nose and throat (ENT) doctors. In addition, they have completed extensive fellowship training and have subspecialty board certification in otology and neurotology.

They are experts in cochlear implants, acoustic neuroma, hearing reconstructive surgery, chronic ear disease, disorders of the facial nerve, and other medical and surgical management of ear problems.

Current research at the Listen for Life Center

Our neurotologists are actively engaged in a number of IRB-approved research projects at the Listen for Life Center. They are constantly collecting data and analyzing outcomes to help shape best practices and provide evidence-based medicine to all patients.

Some of their current research project titles include:

  • Cochlear Implantation for Adults with Asymmetric Hearing Loss/Single-sided Deafness
  • Middle Fossa Craniotomy for Spontaneous Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Otorrhea
  • Residual Hearing Thresholds Following Cochlear Implantation
  • The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Patients with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
  • Evaluation of Outcomes Using Different Treatment Algorithms in Patients with Vestibular Schwannomas