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, 155 (9), 1745-9

Surgical Treatment of Typical Peripheral Schwannomas: The Risk of New Postoperative Deficits


Surgical Treatment of Typical Peripheral Schwannomas: The Risk of New Postoperative Deficits

Mario G Siqueira et al. Acta Neurochir (Wien).


Background: Although peripheral schwannomas can be resected without postoperative neurological complications, surgeons must anticipate the possibility that new neurological deficits could develop. In order to evaluate the risk of neurological complications in the surgical treatment of these tumours, we performed a retrospective review of cases involving schwannomas in the extremities, as well as an analysis of the related literature.

Method: We reviewed a combined series of 72 schwannomas from the extremities presenting for surgical excision. Meticulous analysis of the files was undertaken, searching for pre-operative findings that could be more frequent in patients with surgical complications. The incidence, severity, and transitory nature of post-operative complications in our series was observed and compared against the literature.

Results: Eleven patients (15.2 %) developed new neurological deficits after surgery: sensory disturbance in seven cases, motor weakness in three, and a single wound hematoma. Most of these complications were temporary. Statistical analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between the presence of complications and both patient age under 50 years (p = 0.02) and tumours greater than 3 cm in greatest diameter (p = 0.02).

Conclusions: Although relatively infrequent, the potential for novel post-operative deficits after the surgical treatment of peripheral schwannomas does exist and should be included during pre-operative counseling.

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