Possible complications of an acoustic neuroma surgery and aftercare

The length of the in-patient stay is seven to fourteen days, determined by the post-operative dizziness. Depending on how pronounced the loss of balance due to the tumour was on entering, determines the speed of the compensation of the complete malfunction after the operation. Only patients with slight dizziness shall generally be discharged early from in-patient care.

Occasionally, clear brain fluid leaks from the wound, nose or ear. Small so-called CSF fluid leaks often stop themselves. If that doesn't occur, a so-called lumpal drainage removes the pressure in the head or/and the leak detected on an MRT is sealed with autologous matter or bone adhesive.

The hearing loss that is already present before the op often persists. If the auditory nerve is strongly affected or even damaged during the op, this leads to hearing difficulties or deafness in that ear. Losses in the hearing function can be compensated for through the appropriate hearing aids.

An irritation to the facial nerves caused by the operation can lead to a slight facial palsy (facial paralysis) which mostly disappear by themselves. However, it should also be treated with physiotherapy. Severe damages to the facial nerves may lead to paralysis that can never be completely reversed. In this case corrective subsequent operations can improve the impairments (eye closing, even position of the mouth, recovery of facial expression).

After the operation function tests will be carried out in the clinic, such as hearing and balance tests, facial nerve function tests, MRT. Depending on how the operation went and possible complaints, a follow-up appointment is agreed. Afterwards, the local doctors at the patient's place of residence assume any potential aftercare required.

The post-op patient generally requires approx. three to four weeks to recover from the operation, independently of whether he/she is taking rehabilitation measures or not. For up to one month after the operation, the patient should refrain from activities that are too strenuous physically. Water should not be applied to the op wound for two weeks or to the corresponding ear. If the facial nerve is paralysed and the eye cannot close actively, it must be masked and treated with eye drops and ointment.

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