Post-Operative Information: What to Expect after Surgery

Post-op Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) Surgery

 

Post-operative instructions

 

The surgery itself can last anywhere between 4 and 8 hours for bigger tumours and a night is usually spent in intensive care.

 

We aim to have you sitting out of bed within the first couple of days of surgery, and to start gentle mobilisation the following day. The degree of imbalance is variable and initiation of vestibular rehabilitation can help speed recovery.

A tight head bandage is kept in place for 3-5 days to minimise swelling and the risk of CSF (brain fluid) leak. When the head bandage is removed you will be able to shower and the wound will be waterproof. The wound will be covered by paper strips (steristrips) that stay in place for 2 weeks.

Headache is common and regular analgesia is given for the first couple of weeks.

Discharge home is usually planned for between 5 and 10 days.

 

Whilst rare any evidence of clear fluid from the nose should be reported as this can occasionally represent a CSF leak, as should any temperatures, increased swelling or tenderness around the wound.

For larger tumours, temporary facial nerve paresis can occur. The most important problem surrounding this is of incomplete eye closure. This necessitates the regular use of tear replacement drops and gels until spontaneous blinking returns. Occasionally a review with an opthalmologist is required.

 

Following discharge from hospital it can often be a bit of a psychologic and physical let down, and recovery often follows a two steps forward, one step backward pattern. Avoidance of heavy lifting and straining is important but ongoing mobilisation is encouraged with a degree of dizziness part of the rehabilitation process.

 

 

If pain and discomfort is not controlled please let me know and I can fax a script directly to your pharmacy.

The first post-operative visit is made 2-3 weeks after surgery, but if you have any questions or concerns, even if you think it is minor I would prefer you to give me call.

 

 

 

If you have any questions or problems please call us on 93805380, or email sean@sydneyentclinic.com

If I cannot be contacted  the best number to call is 83821111, which is the St Vincent’s Public Hospital switchboard and ask to speak to the ENT registrar.

In an emergency situation please make your way to the closest major hospital.

 

Formal vestibular rehabilitation is important and in most cases pre-operative sessions are very helpful. After a few months a number of options for hearing rehabilitation are explored.

In most cases a routine post-operative MRI scan is arranged 1 year after surgery.