Report of 190 consecutive cases of large acoustic tumors (vestibular schwannoma) removed via the translabyrinthine approach

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Object. The choice of approach for surgical removal of large acoustic neuromas is still controversial. The authors reviewed the results in a series of patients who underwent removal of large tumors via the translabyrinthine approach.

Methods. The authors conducted a database analysis of 190 patients (89 men and 101 women) with acoustic neuromas 3 cm or greater in size. The mean age of these patients was 46.1 ± 15.6 years. One hundred seventy-eight patients underwent primary translabyrinthine surgical removal and 12 underwent surgery for residual tumor. Total tumor removal was accomplished in 183 cases (96.3%). The tumor was adherent to the facial nerve to some degree in 64% of the cases, but the facial nerve was preserved anatomically in 178 (93.7%) of the patients. Divided nerves were repaired by primary attachment or cable graft. Facial nerve function was assessed immediately after surgery, at the time of discharge, and at 3 to 4 weeks and 1 year after discharge. Excellent function (House—Brackmann facial nerve Grade I or II) was present in 55%, 33.9%, 38.8%, and 52.6% of the patients for each time interval, respectively, with acceptable function (Grades I—IV) in 81% at 1 year. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage that required surgical repair occurred in only 1.1% of the patients and meningitis in 3.7%. There were no deaths.

Conclusions. Use of the translabyrinthine approach for removal of large tumors resulted in good anatomical and functional preservation of the facial nerve, with minimum incidence of morbidity and no incidence of mortality. The authors continue to recommend use of this approach for acoustic tumors larger than 3 cm and for smaller tumors when hearing preservation is not an issue.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Todd H. Lanman, M.D., c/o Clinical Studies Department, House Ear Institute, 2100 West Third Street, Los Angeles, California 90057.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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