Acoustic neuroma surgery outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: The outcomes of surgery for acoustic neuromas have improved dramatically since the development of modern surgical techniques, the operating microscope, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and cranial nerve monitoring. The goals of acoustic neuroma surgery are now preservation of facial nerve function and, when feasible, hearing preservation. Many large series do not report standardized hearing and facial function grading, and they include patients who did not benefit from the most modern techniques. The purpose of this study was to present the results of acoustic neuroma surgery using the most modern techniques and equipment, using standardized grading systems. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review. SETTING: Tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: 97 patients who underwent surgical removal of acoustic neuromas from 1992 to 1998. INTERVENTION: All patients underwent acoustic neuroma surgery and had preoperative audiograms and MRI with contrast. In addition, all patients had preoperative and postoperative facial function graded by the House-Brackmann scale and intraoperative facial nerve monitoring. Hearing preservation was attempted in patients with tumors of any size who had preoperative function of grade A or B according to the Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium guidelines for reporting results of acoustic neuroma surgery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hearing preservation was considered successful if the patient retained serviceable hearing grade A or B. House-Brackmann grade 1 or 2 was considered excellent facial function. Complications were recorded. RESULTS: Facial nerve integrity was preserved in 96 of 97 patients (99%). Eight of 8 (100%) patients with intracanalicular tumors had excellent facial nerve function (HB 1-2). Fifty-two of 55 (95%) of patients with small tumors had excellent facial nerve function, and 15 of 24 (63%) with medium tumors had HB grade 1-2. Hearing was preserved in 29% of patients with tumors under 2 cm. The overall complication rate was 20%; cerebrospinal fluid leak was the most common. CONCLUSION: These results show that with modern imaging and surgical techniques, acoustic neuroma surgery is extremely safe and outcomes are very good. Surgery remains the treatment of choice for most tumors until alternative therapies, such as gamma knife, use uniform grading scales and show long-term facial and hearing results.
Kaylie, DM; Gilbert, E; Horgan, MA; Delashaw, JB; McMenomey, SO
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