Vestibular Schwanomma: An Experience in a Developing World

Prakash Bahadur Thapa, Sudha Shahi, Rajiv Kumar Jha, Deependra Shrestha


Background: Tumors related to the acoustic nerves represent 90% of cerebellopontine angle diseases and have been in the picture for at least 200 years. Famous as acoustic neuromas and vestibular neuromas, these are usually benign, slow-growing tumors of Schwann cells of the myelin sheath. Surgery is the treatment of choice though some authors have suggested “wait and watch” policy. The aims of our study were to study the clinical presentation and management of the tumors, and to evaluate the perioperative outcomes of the surgery.

Methods: A retrospective review of the datasheet of 33 patients diagnosed with vestibular schwanomma who had undergone surgery from January 2014 to January 2017 was performed in National Academy of Medical Sciences, Bir Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal. Analysis of the demographic data and perioperative outcomes was performed.

Results: Hearing loss was the main presenting symptom in 72% cases followed by tinnitus, dizziness, facial numbness and sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Mean tumur size was 39.7 3 mm. The mean age of the patients was 46 3 years with a female preponderance (1.2:1). In particular, the retrosigmoid route was preferred in all the cases since it was the most employed approach at our center and 63% of the tumors presented to us were grade 5. The surgical techniques allowed safe preservation of the facial function which was 93%. The hearing loss did not improve after the surgery in 94% while it worsened in 6% of cases. We did not find any significant relation between outcome and size, age, gender or laterality of the tumor (P > 0.05). There was no perioperative mortality.

Conclusions: The benign and slow-growing nature of vestibular schwanomma usually poses problems for the early diagnosis and treatment especially in a poor resource setting like ours. Likewise, there are very few studies so far done in the country regarding the incidence and management of the disease. Thus, this study might be helpful in providing insight into the occurrence of the disease in the present scenario and the need for much more studies in the future.

World J Oncol. 2019;10(2):118-122


Neuroma; Vestibular schwannoma; Hearing loss; Management

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