Operative management of acoustic neuromas: The priority of neurologic function over complete resection

J. L. Kemink, A. W. Langman, J. K. Niparko, M. D. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The objective of surgical management of acoustic tumors is to remove them entirely and preserve facial nerve function and hearing when possible. A dilemma arises when it is not possible to remove the entire tumor without incurring additional neurologic deficits. Twenty patients who underwent intentional incomplete surgical removal of an acoustic neuroma to avoid further neurologic deficit were retrospectively reviewed. They were divided into a subtotal group (resection of less than 95% of tumor) and a near-total group (resection of 95% or more of tumor) and were followed yearly with either computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. The subtotal group was planned and consisted of elderly patients (mean age, 68.5 years) with large tumors (mean, 3.1 cm). The near-total group consisted of younger patients (mean age, 45.8 years) and smaller tumors (mean, 2.3 cm). The mean length of followup for all patients was 5.0 years. Ninety percent of patients had House grade I or II facial function postoperatively. Radiologically detectable tumor regrowth occurred in only one patient, who was in the subtotal resection group. Near-total resection of acoustic tumor was not associated with radiologic evidence of regrowth of tumor for the period of observation. Within the limits of the follow-up period of this study, subtotal resection of acoustic neuroma in elderly patients was not associated with clinically significant recurrence in most patients and produced highly satisfactory rates of facial preservation with low surgical morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-99
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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