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Laryngoscope. 1991 Apr;101(4 Pt 1):372-8.

Long-term results after lateral cranial base surgery.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, MA 01805.


The surgical management of patients with slow-growing benign temporal bone neoplasms has been criticized because of its significant morbidity and mortality compared with results after radiation therapy, but long-term control by irradiation remains unproved. Long-term surgical results have not been studied previously. One hundred twenty-nine skull base operations were performed in 126 patients at the Otology Group, Nashville, Tenn., from January 1970 through May 1987. Fifty-eight patients responded to questionnaires focusing on recovery from loss of cranial nerves. All patients regained some degree of facial function (class V or better), no alimentary tubes or tracheotomies were in use, and no patients had debilitating aspiration. Long-term compensation from the cranial nerve deficits of lateral skull base surgery can be expected in most patients and should not be used as an argument for irradiation in patients with a long life expectancy at time of diagnosis.

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