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Vagus nerve removal surgery scheduled. Does this have post surgical side effects? Is it safe?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1980
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Hi! I have a surgery set up for next week and I don't know if I should have it or not because there will be life long side effects to having the surgery but if I do not have surgery they told me I will still have the same side effects happen but also things may get worse because of the location. They are removing a vagus nerve schwanomma. I have spoken to doctors all over the country and they basically all say the same things but I still am not sure of my doctors here however, I think it may be easier recovering closer to home. If this surgery will cause such problems afterwards do I just have to come to terms that I will have a new "normal" in life. I just dont want to die and I still want to have children.... help!
Posted Wed, 11 Jul 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rajinder Bajoria 3 hours later

Hi,
Thanks for writing in.
Dealing with schwannomas is quite difficult as , nerve fibers are involved which can mean lifelong problems if they are damaged or cut.

It is very important to have a skilled neurosurgeon in order to have the best possible outcome
post surgical side effects are well known and can do occur with surgical removal of vagus nerve schwannoma.

If surgery goes well and involvement or damage of nerve is minimum ,some improvement in quality of life does take place.

In my opinion it is always better to get rid of the disease.
Wishing you the very best. Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Vagus nerve removal surgery scheduled. Does this have post surgical side effects? Is it safe? 9 hours later
Hi!
Thanks for the answer. So you think removing it is better than leaving it in even though I will have trouble talking, swallowing, breathing and more the rest of my life? I am scheduled locally at University of Miami with Dr. Jacques Morcos, Dr. XXXXXXX Weed and Dr. XXXXXXX Telishi. I have spoken to doctors in XXXXXXX New York, Chicago and Maryland as well but they all say the same thing about the side effects. I think it may be harder to have this surgery out of state for me but the hardest decision is choosing the surgeon. I have no idea what to do. I am told the ENT surgeon is the main surgeon. I have been told that 95-100% I will have nerve damage because the tumor is in the nerve. I do hope that my doctors will take their time to preserve the nerve instead of cutting it out right away. I am so scared to go through with surgery. Patients that have had this done all say they regret it. What other choices do I have? They also say they were better before the surgery than after it to get it removed. There has to be better news for patients with a vagus nerve....a better technique maybe? They say I am not a candidate for radiation due to my age.... I am unsure of the ENT doctor....has anyone heard anything good about him?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Rajinder Bajoria 3 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing again.
I understand that it is a very hard decision that one has to make, knowing fully well that the results of surgery can impair your quality of life.
I would suggest that you keep your hope intact and go ahead with the surgery. The disease will do you more harm than the surgery itself. Also, if you convince yourself that this is in your best interest and you are going to be better, the chances of a better outcome improve. The brain has been shown to play a powerful role in healing and recovery.
Wishing you the very best. Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
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