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The only way to resolve the dispute about the effectiveness of surgery versus radiation therapy for glomus tympanicum and jugulare tumors is adequate long-term studies. In a retrospective study with an average follow-up period of 15 years (range 11 to 23 years) we reassessed 11 patients with glomus tympanicum tumors and 11 patients with glomus jugulare tumors. Ten of 11 patients with glomus tympanicum tumor were tumor-free after surgery. A temporary facial palsy and an external meatal wall defect were the only surgical complications. The air-bone gap postoperatively closed to within 10 dB in three patients, to within 20 dB in six patients, and to more than 30 dB in one patient. Nine of 10 patients with glomus jugulare tumor receiving complete resection were tumor-free. Less than half the patients experienced new-onset cranial nerve function loss, and all made satisfactory recovery, eliminating the need for tracheostomy or gastrostomy. In two patients, the hearing could be preserved on the preoperative level, but the majority already presented with deafness. In the long-term, surgery remains a treatment of choice for glomus tympanicum tumors. It is also an extremely effective treatment with low morbidity for glomus jugulare tumors, including those with intracranial extension.