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Risk Recall of Complications Associated with Vestibular Schwannoma Treatment



To assess the risk recall of complications among patients who underwent different vestibular schwannoma (VS) treatments.

Study design

Patients with VS completed a voluntary and anonymous survey.


Survey links were distributed via the Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) website, Facebook, and email list.

Subjects and methods

Surveys were distributed to ANA members from January to March 2017. Of the 3200 ANA members with a VS diagnosis at the time of survey distribution, 789 (25%) completed the survey.


Subjects reported the following incidence of posttreatment complications: imbalance (60%), hearing issues (51%), dry eyes (30%), headache (29%), and facial weakness (27%). Overall, 188 (25%) recalled remembering all the risks associated with their treatment. Among those in the surgical cohort (52%) who experienced balance issues, facial weakness, cerebrospinal fluid leak, meningitis, and stroke, 73%, 91%, 77%, 67%, and 33% claimed recall of these associated risks. Among those in the radiosurgery cohort (28%) who experienced balance issues, facial weakness, and hydrocephalus, 56%, 52%, and 60% recalled discussions of those risks. Patients with higher-level education (P = .026) and those who underwent surgery (P = .001) had a significantly higher risk recall ratio, while sex, age, and tumor size were not significant contributing factors.


Not all patients with VS who experienced treatment complications recalled remembering those risks being discussed with them. Patients with higher education and those who underwent surgery had a better recall of risks associated with different treatment modalities. The risk recall ratio of patients experiencing complications ranged 33% to 91%, suggesting an opportunity for decision-making and discussion improvement.

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