Acoustic Neuroma Surgery
Expected ResultsThe expected results of surgery for acoustic neuroma will depend on the location and size of the tumor, as well as the extent of the hearing loss and other symptoms that were present prior to surgery.
If the tumor is small, hearing may be saved and accompanying acoustic neuroma symptoms may improve. As the tumor grows larger, surgical removal is more complicated because the tumor may have damaged the nerves that control facial movement, hearing, and balance -- and may also have affected other nerves and structures of the brain.
The removal of tumors affecting the hearing, balance, or facial nerves can make the patient's symptoms worse because sections of these nerves may also need to be removed with the tumor.
Because individual situations can vary, if you have any questions about your expected results, you and your doctor can discuss them. It is important that your expectations match your doctor's for any type of surgery.
Possible Complications of Acoustic Neuroma SurgeryNo procedure is ever completely free of risks. However, surgery for acoustic neuroma has been performed for many years with successful results and limited complications.
That being said, complications can happen during this procedure. In most cases, minor complications are temporary and are often easily treated by your healthcare providers.
Minor complications of acoustic neuroma surgery can include but are not limited to:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Minor bleeding
- Allergic skin reaction
- Skin numbness
- Painful or abnormal scar formation.
Your overall health will play a role in your likelihood of developing major complications. For example, people with severe heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or kidney disease may have a higher chance of complications occurring than those that are healthier.
Depending on the individual situation, a major complication may lead to a longer hospital stay, a blood transfusion, a repeat surgery, or, in rare cases, permanent disability or even loss of life. Your specific risk for major complications may be higher or lower. Therefore, it is important that you discuss this with your doctor.
Major complications of acoustic neuroma surgery can include but are not limited to:
- Loss of hearing
- Nerve, spinal cord, or brain damage
- Weakness or paralysis of the muscles of the face
- Eye problems, such as blurred vision, dryness, excessive tearing, and corneal abrasions
- Blood clots
- Major bleeding due to blood vessel injury
- Swelling of the brain (hydrocephalus)
- Return of the acoustic neuroma tumor
- Other rare or unlikely events.
It may be that in your doctor's practice, few of these complications have happened -- or have occurred rarely. However, it's important for you to know and understand all of the possible complications so that you are fully informed before your procedure. It is also important to realize that even in the best surgical hands, complications do occur and they do not always imply that something went wrong during your surgery.