Conclusions: Preoperative gentamicin in combination with vestibular 'prehab' offers a possibility to reduce postoperative malaise and speed up recovery and may be used for patients undergoing such surgery when there is remaining vestibular function.
Objectives: Removal of pontine angle tumours in a patient with remaining vestibular function causes symptoms of acute vestibular loss. A simultaneous cerebellar lesion can cause a combined vestibule-cerebellar lesion.
Patients and methods: Twelve patients with pontine angle tumours but with near normal vestibular function were treated with intratympanic gentamicin in combination with vestibular 'prehab' to achieve preoperative vestibular ablation and compensation. After work-up patients started with a home-based vestibular training programme for 14 days. They then received a total of 1.2 ml of 30 mg/ml buffered gentamicin in four intratympanic installations over 2 days. They continued training and returned 6-16 weeks later. All patients were tested with calorics, vestibular video-impulse testing of all six canals, VEMP, subjective visual vertical and horizontal, posturography and pure tone and speech audiometry.
Results: There was a loss of caloric reactions and loss of impulses. In two patients the hearing deteriorated and in one hearing improved. All subjects were vestibulary compensated before surgery and no patient complained of dizziness or vertigo after surgery.