Preservation of hearing following awake surgery via the retrosigmoid approach for vestibular schwannomas in eight consecutive patients

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1579–1585

Hearing preservation in patients with vestibular schwannomas remains difficult by microsurgery or radiosurgery.

Method: In this study, awake surgery via the retrosigmoid approach was performed for vestibular schwannomas (volume, 11.6 ± 11.2 ml; range, 1.3–26.4 ml) in eight consecutive patients with preoperative quartering of pure tone audiometry (PTA) of 53 ± 27 dB.

:Results After surgery, hearing was preserved in seven patients and improved in one patient. The postoperative quartering PTA was 51 ± 21 dB. Serviceable hearing (class A + B + C) using the American Association of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) classification was preserved in all patients. Preoperative useful hearing (AAO-HNS class A + B) was observed in three patients, and useful hearing was preserved in all three of these patients after surgery. In addition, useful facial nerve function (House-Blackmann Grade 1) was preserved in all patients.

:Conclusions These results suggest that awake surgery for vestibular schwannomas is associated with low patient morbidity, including with respect to hearing and facial nerve function.