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Should I Be Concerned About Complications?

Possible Complications of Vestibular Schwannoma Surgery

No procedure is ever completely free of risks. However, vestibular schwannoma surgery has been performed for many years with successful results and limited complications.
There are possible minor and major complications that can occur during vestibular schwannoma surgery. Minor complications are, in most cases, temporary and are often easily treated by you or your healthcare providers.
Minor complications of vestibular schwannoma surgery can include, but are not limited to:
  • Infection
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Minor bleeding
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Skin numbness
  • Painful or abnormal scar formation.
There are a number of possible major complications that can occur. Your overall health will play a role in your likelihood of developing complications. For example, patients with severe heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or kidney disease may have a higher chance of complications occurring than those who are healthier.
Depending on the individual situation, a major complication may lead to a longer hospital stay, a blood transfusion, a repeat surgery, or in rare cases, permanent disability, or even loss of life. Your risk for major complications depends on several different factors and may be higher or lower than average. Therefore, it is important that you discuss your specific risk for complications with your doctor.
Major complications of vestibular schwannoma surgery can include, but are not limited to:
  • Loss of hearing
  • Headaches
  • Nerve, spinal cord, or brain damage
  • Weakness or paralysis of the muscles of the face
  • Eye problems, such as blurred vision, dryness, excessive tearing, and corneal abrasions
  • Blood clots
  • Embolism
  • Stroke
  • Infection
  • Major bleeding due to blood vessel injury
  • Swelling of the brain (hydrocephalus)
  • Return of the vestibular schwannoma tumor.
It is possible that in your doctor's practice, few of these complications have happened -- or have occurred very rarely. However, it's important for you to know and understand all the possible complications associated with the surgery, so that you're fully informed. It is also important to realize that even in the best surgical hands, complications do occur, and they do not always imply that something went wrong in your procedure.

About Vestibular Schwannoma

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