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Acoustic Neuroma Surgery


Acoustic neuroma, also known as vestibular schwannoma, is a noncancerous (benign) tumor that develops on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. The tumor can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and balance problems, and may also press against nearby nerves and affect facial movement or other cranial nerve function. Treatment options for acoustic neuroma can include observation, radiation therapy, or surgical removal of the tumor.


The indications for surgical removal of acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) include:

  1. Symptoms caused by the tumor, such as hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), balance problems, facial weakness or other cranial nerve problems.
  2. Rapid growth of the tumor.
  3. Tumor size, as larger tumors may cause greater compression on surrounding nerves and tissue.
  4. Age and overall health of the patient.
  5. Presence of other medical conditions that may affect the ability to tolerate or recover from surgery.
  6. Patient preference.

It is important for patients to discuss the benefits and risks of surgical removal with their neurosurgeon and make a decision based on their individual medical history, symptoms and goals for treatment.


The recovery phase of acoustic neuroma surgery typically involves the following steps:

  1. Pain management: Pain medication may be prescribed to manage discomfort following surgery.
  2. Monitoring vital signs: Regular monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs is done to ensure that the patient is stable.
  3. Rest and sleep: Adequate rest and sleep is important to promote healing and recovery.
  4. Physical therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended to help the patient regain strength, coordination, and balance.
  5. Monitoring for complications: Close monitoring is done to identify and address any potential complications such as infection, bleeding, or swelling.
  6. Follow-up appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with the doctor are recommended to monitor the patient's progress and address any concerns.

Recovery time may vary from patient to patient, depending on the type of procedure performed and the overall health of the individual.


Post-surgery complications of acoustic neuroma surgery can include:

  1. Facial nerve weakness or paralysis
  2. Hearing loss
  3. Vestibular (balance) problems
  4. Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
  5. Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain)
  6. CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leak
  7. Blood clots or bleeding
  8. Infection
  9. Scarring

These complications can be temporary or permanent and may require additional medical treatment or surgery. It is important to closely follow the doctor's instructions for post-operative care and report any symptoms or concerns promptly to minimize the risk of complications.


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding acoustic neuroma surgery:

  • What is an acoustic neuroma and how is it treated?

An acoustic neuroma is a type of benign brain tumor that affects the vestibular nerve, which is responsible for hearing and balance. It can be treated with surgical removal or radiation therapy.

  • What are the surgical options for acoustic neuroma? 

Surgical options for acoustic neuroma include the translabyrinthine approach, retrosigmoid approach, and middle fossa approach.

  • What is the recovery time following acoustic neuroma surgery?

Recovery time following acoustic neuroma surgery may vary from patient to patient, depending on the type of procedure performed and the overall health of the individual. Close follow-up with the doctor is recommended to monitor progress and address any concerns.

  • What are the risks associated with acoustic neuroma surgery?

Risks associated with acoustic neuroma surgery include bleeding, infection, cranial nerve injury, recurrent tumor growth, CSF leak, hearing loss, and scarring.

  • How is hearing affected by acoustic neuroma surgery?

Hearing may be affected by acoustic neuroma surgery, and the extent of hearing loss depends on the location and size of the tumor and the type of surgical approach used.

  • What should I expect during the post-operative period?

During the post-operative period, the patient may experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising, which can be managed with pain medication and rest. Close monitoring for complications is also important.

  • Will there be any changes to facial appearance or function? 

There is a risk of facial nerve injury following acoustic neuroma surgery, which can result in temporary or permanent facial weakness or numbness.

It is important to note that the answers to these questions may vary based on the individual patient's situation and the specific surgical procedure performed. The doctor will be able to provide more information and answer any additional questions.

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