The authors have no financial disclosures for this article.
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 121, Issue 10, pages 2065–2074, October 2011
How to Cite
Wilkinson, E. P., Hoa, M., Slattery, W. H., Fayad, J. N., Friedman, R. A., Schwartz, M. S. and Brackmann, D. E. (2011), Evolution in the management of facial nerve schwannoma. The Laryngoscope, 121: 2065–2074. doi: 10.1002/lary.22141
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Issue published online: 21 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 1 APR 2011
- Facial nerve schwannoma;
- facial nerve grafting;
- Level of Evidence: 2b
To design a treatment algorithm based on experience with facial nerve schwannomas (FNS) over a 30-year period.
Retrospective chart review.
Seventy-nine patients with facial nerve schwannomas seen from 1979 through 2009 at a tertiary referral private otologic practice were categorized by treatment modality. Interventions included surgical resection with grafting, bony decompression, observation, or stereotactic radiation. Outcome measures included House-Brackmann facial nerve grade before and after intervention as well as change in facial nerve grade, tumor size, involved segments of nerve, time to intervention.
Thirty-seven patients (46.8%) ultimately underwent surgical excision with grafting or primary anastomosis, 21 (26.6%) underwent bony decompression alone, 15 (19.0%) were managed with observation only, and 6 (7.6%) had stereotactic radiation. Through 1995, 85% of cases had surgical resection and none had observation only. Of the 52 patients seen after 1995, 27% had surgical resection and grafting, 33% had bony decompression, 29% were managed with observation alone, and 11% had radiotherapy. Facial nerve grade was maintained or improved over the follow-up period (mean time = 3.9 years) in 78.9% of the decompression group and 100% of the observation and radiation groups compared to 54.8% of the resection group (P ≤ .012).
Surgical resection and grafting, once widely accepted and practiced, has in many cases given way to observation, bony decompression, or stereotactic radiation. A wide armamentarium of options is available to the neurotologist treating facial nerve schwannomas with the ability to preserve facial function for a longer period of time.