J Neurol Surg B 2014; 75 - a139
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1384043

Impact of Facial Nerve Function on Quality of Life after Vestibular Schwannoma Surgery

J. Perez 1, C. Stetter 1, J. Friedrich 1, R. I. Ernestus 1, G. Gelbrich 2, C. Matthies 1
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Julius-Maximilians University Hospital Wuerzburg, Germany
  • 2Institute for Epidemiology and Biometrcis, Julius-Maximilians University Hospital Wuerzburg, Germany

Objective: In vestibular schwannoma (VS) surgery, facial nerve function is of great importance for patients' individual satisfaction and quality of life. Methods: Between 2005 and 2010, 115 patients took part in long-term evaluation. Clinical results, facial photodocumentation, SF-36 life quality questionnaires, Nottingham Health Profile, and a disease-related questionnaire were analyzed. Three subjective outcome classes (A = satisfied with procedure and outcome, B = satisfied, but mild persisting symptoms, C = not satisfied, suffering from major symptoms) were related to the primary outcome, the objective (House-Brackmann scale, HB) and the subjective facial nerve function at follow-up of 1 year. Results: At 1year, objective facial function was HB grade I in 70%, HB grade II in 16%, HB grade III in 11%. Despite normal function 12% in class A, 26% in B, and 44% in C complained of persisting subjective facial weakness. Statistical analysis showed significant reduction in energy level and well-being but normal physical activity level when compared with those patients with objective facial deficits, pointing toward a lasting depressive status and related impairment in life quality despite objective good function. Conclusion: Patients' individual constitutions play a major part in long-term subjective life quality and may be more important than objective clinical findings.