Vestibular schwannomas (VS) have a peak incidence in the sixth and seventh decades of life. Stereotactic radiosurgery is often the preferred treatment for VS among patients of advanced age. The fraction of elderly patients potentially requiring consideration for surgical treatment is anticipated to expand, mandating an update to management paradigms in this population.
To describe our experience with surgical management of VS in patients aged 75 yr and older.
Cohort study of all patients aged ≥75 yr with sporadic VS requiring surgical treatment at our institution between 1999 and 2020. Data included preoperative baseline characteristics and outcome data including extent of resection, facial nerve and hearing status, functional outcome, length of stay, and complications.
A total of 24 patients were included, spanning an age range of 75 to 90 yr. Average tumor size was 2.76 ± 1.04 cm, and average baseline Modified 5-item Frailty Index (mFI-5) score was 1.08 ± 0.93. Extent of resection was gross total in 5 (20.8%), near total in 3 (12.5%), and sub-total resection in the remaining 16 (66.7%). One patient died in the postoperative period because of an acute sub-dural hematoma. Favorable facial nerve function (HB1-2) was preserved in 12 patients (75%) between 75 and 79 yr and 2 patients (28.6%) aged ≥ 80 yr. No cerebrospinal fluid leak or surgical site infection was observed; 3 patients developed hydrocephalus requiring ventriculo-peritoneal shunt placement. Nine patients required out-of-home disposition; all patients eventually returned to independent living.
Microsurgical resection of VS can be safely undertaken in patients greater than 75 y/o but may carry an increased risk of poor facial function.

© Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2021.