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Neurosurg Focus. 2012 Sep;33(3):E11. doi: 10.3171/2012.7.FOCUS12208.

A stepwise illustration of the translabyrinthine approach to a large cystic vestibular schwannoma.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Of the presigmoid approaches, the translabyrinthine approach is often used when a large exposure is needed to gain access to the cerebellopontine angle but when hearing preservation is not a concern. At the authors' institution, this approach is done with the aid of ENT/otolaryngology for temporal bone drilling and exposure. In the present article and video, the authors demonstrate the use of the translabyrinthine approach for resection of a large cystic vestibular schwannoma, delineating the steps of positioning, opening, temporal bone drilling, tumor resection, and closure. Gross-total resection was achieved in the featured case. The patient's postoperative facial function was House-Brackmann Grade II on the side ipsilateral to the tumor, although function improved with time. The translabyrinthine route to the cerebellopontine angle is an excellent approach for masses that extend toward the midline or anterior to the pons. Although hearing is sacrificed, facial nerve function is generally spared.

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