European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 268, Issue 5, pp 653–660 | Cite as

Post-operative complications after removal of sporadic vestibular schwannoma via retrosigmoid-suboccipital approach: current diagnosis and management

  • Stylianos Charalampakis
  • Dimitrios Koutsimpelas
  • Haralampos Gouveris
  • Wolf Mann
Review Article


The retrosigmoid (suboccipital) approach is one of four surgical approaches for the treatment of vestibular schwannomas (acoustic neuromas). It is increasingly used by otologic surgeons, and in experienced hands is associated with improved results and more limited complications. Mortality rates are minimal and often zero, while postoperative sequelae, on the other hand, are not rare. In order to not only save the patient’s life, but also to assure good quality of life after the surgery, one must consider many different aspects of management of the respective complications. In this review the issues of current management of CSF leak and meningitis, facial paresis, headache, hearing loss, unsteadiness, disequilibrium, vertigo, tinnitus, cerebellar and brain stem injuries or abscess, vascular complications and venous air embolism after retrosigmoid approach for removal of vestibular schwannomas are presented.


Complications Management Retrosigmoid Surgery Schwannoma Vestibular 



No sponsor provided any form of funding related to the contents of this manuscript.

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stylianos Charalampakis
    • 1
  • Dimitrios Koutsimpelas
    • 1
  • Haralampos Gouveris
    • 1
  • Wolf Mann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryThe University of Mainz Hospitals and ClinicsMainzGermany

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