Vestibular schwannoma microsurgery with special reference to facial nerve preservation

  • Chen L
  • Chen L
  • Liu L
 et al. 
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Objective: To retrospectively study the outcomes of vestibular schwannoma (VS) resection. Methods: Between January 2003 and December 2006, 103 consecutive patients who had undergone VS resection were included in this study. Medical records, operation summaries, follow-up data, and neuroradiological findings were analyzed. The relationship between tumor size, location, and topography relative to the facial nerve bundles was studied for a mean duration of 16 months (range: 3-39 months). Results: Complete tumor resection in combination with anatomic preservation of the facial nerve was achieved in 101 (98.1%) cases. The facial nerve was fully preserved in 100% of cases with small or medium tumors and in 37/39 patients with large tumors. Overall, 83.5% of patients had normal or near-normal facial nerve function 3-12 months post-surgically. The mortality rate was 0%. Conclusions: Even in large VS, preservation of facial nerve function (H-B Grade I or II) should be prioritized over total resection. For tumors >3 cm, the goal of low morbidity and maintenance of normal facial nerve function can be attained with the retrosigmoid transmeatal approach, refined microsurgical technique, and intraoperative facial nerve monitoring. © 2008.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Facial nerve function
  • Nerve monitoring
  • Retrosigmoid transmeatal approach
  • Vestibular schwannoma

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