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Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma)

Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) - How to prevent?

Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) - Diagnosis

Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) - Preparing for surgery

Risks and Complications of surgery

Possible complications from surgery are similar for all brain surgeries. These include infection, bleeding, death, coma, stroke and seizures. The likelihood of serious complications is fairly low in modern neurosurgical centres.

Other complications specific to acoustic neuroma surgery include:

  • Total hearing loss in the affected ear.
  • Tinnitus (ear noise) usually remains after surgery even despite total hearing loss.
  • Facial Weakness or Paralysis.

The surgeon has to manipulate and dissect the tumour off the nerve, or sometimes to remove a portion of this nerve. Nerve damage or swelling may occur and cause weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles. This results in incomplete eye closure and sagging of the face. The exposed cornea is dry and easily injured by dust particles. To protect it, the eyelids have to be taped together after instillation of eyedrops. Area inside the inner ear canal where acoustic neuroma usually grows from. A small surgical procedure called tarsorrhaphy (stitching together of the edges of the outer third of the eyelids) may be advised later to protect the eye. Nerve regeneration may occur if the nerve is still anatomically intact after surgery.

However, this is a slow process and it may take up to a year for some recovery of facial movement to be seen. If no recovery is visible after one year, a second operation may be considered to connect the healthy portion of the Facial Nerve to the Hypoglossal Nerve leading to that side of the tongue. This procedure is called Hypoglossal-Facial Nerve anastomosis and restores some, but not perfect, facial functions.

  • Double vision may occur after removal of a large tumour pressing on one of the cranial nerves (usually the sixth) which control the muscles that move the eye.
  • Facial Numbness can develop after removal of a large tumour pressing on the Trigeminal Nerve.
  • Swallowing, Throat, Voice Problems, Taste Disturbance, Mouth Dryness may occur after the elimination of a large tumour pressing on the ninth and tenth cranial nerves.
  • Balance Problems. The vestibular portion of the eighth nerve is removed during surgery and dizziness is common following surgery. As the balance system in the normal ear compensates for this loss, unsteadiness should improve but may never be perfect. Unsteadiness may therefore occur when the person is tired.

Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) - Post-surgery care

Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth