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Surg Neurol. 2000 Apr;53(4):370-7; discussion 377-8.

Current surgical results of retrosigmoid approach in extralarge vestibular schwannomas.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam National University Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Chonnam University Hospital & Medical School, Kwangju, Republic of Korea.



Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are common tumors that can be cured; they are reported to comprise 6 approximately 8% of all intracranial tumors. The primary objective in the surgery of extralarge VS is total removal of the tumor mass while preserving the facial nerve. In extralarge tumors, complete excision of the tumor carries a significant risk of injuring the facial nerve and adjacent vital brain structures. The authors are reporting the techniques and results of operation on extralarge VS.


The material consisted of 30 patients during the last 6 years with surgically treated VS that had a maximal extrameatal diameter exceeding 4 cm. Suboccipital craniotomy and tumor removal was performed with patients in the lateral position. Results and complications of the surgical technique will be reviewed.


Average age of patients was 45.2 years; there was a slight female predominance (1.5:1). Size of the mass ranged from 41 to 70 mm; all were removed by the retrosigmoid transmeatal approach. Peritumoral edema on MRI was seen in 50% (15/30). Total removal was achieved in 73.3% (22/30) with no significant relationship to peritumoral edema. In the cases of total removal, the facial nerve preservation rate was 86.4% (19/22). There was no mortality. Surgical complications were hemorrhage and CSF leakage in 1 case (3%) and 8 cases (26.7%), respectively, but in most of these cases, conservative treatment was adequate. In patients in whom anatomic preservation of the facial nerve was achieved, facial nerve function improved progressively within a year. In all cases except for one with gait disturbance, a good outcome was achieved.


Our surgical techniques, including the prediction of facial nerve displacement, not using retractors, and replacement of bone, contributed to good surgical results in a series of extralarge VS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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