Acoustic Neuroma Surgery
What is acoustic neuroma?
An acoustic neuroma is a benign (not cancer) growth starting on the hearing and balance nerve
near the inner ear and brain. It can press against the nerve, causing hearing loss, ringing in the
ear (tinnitus), or balance problems. Larger tumors are life threatening due to pressing on the
brainstem. Surgery is one way of treating acoustic neuromas.
What to Expect after Surgery
A large dressing over the incision. It
covers your ear and is wrapped
around your head. The dressing may
be removed in 2-3 days.
Facial weakness or drooping may
occur on the affected side. Most of
the time this will go away. It may
not go away until after you return
Eye irritation may occur with facial
weakness. Artificial tears or
lubricants may be prescribed for eye
Numbness or tingling around the
Headache or pain around the
Dizziness and imbalance, which
should improve over 4 to 6 weeks;
although it may last longer.
Fatigue and emotional lows may be
felt for several weeks or months.
A small incision in the abdomen is
possible if a fat graft is done.
What to Do at Home
Use the pain medicine prescribed for
you. When your pain becomes
milder, Tylenol (acetaminophen)
may be used. Follow the directions
on the label.
Ibuprofen or Aleve may be started
7 days after surgery. Follow
For the next 7 days, keep your head
raised 30 degrees by using 2-3
pillows to prop your head up when
you lie down. Do not lie on the
Do not bend over so your head is
lower than the rest of your body for 2
Keep your mouth open while
coughing or sneezing for at least 1
No intense physical exercise or
lifting more than 20 pounds for 4
weeks, or the amount of time advised
by your doctor.
No air travel for 4 weeks.
Do not blow your nose for 1 week.
Do not hold back a sneeze and
sneeze with your mouth open.
Avoid straining to have a bowel
movement. Use the stool softeners
you are prescribed to avoid
Do not drive for 2 weeks or until
your doctor tells you that you can.
Also, do not drive while taking
prescription pain medicine.
Do not drink alcohol while taking
prescription pain medicine.
Slowly resume your daily routines at
home, but no strenuous activity. A
short walk with someone else is a
good way to get exercise and help
improve your balance.
You may return to work when your
doctor says it is okay, usually about
4-6 weeks. It will depend on the
type of work you do.
Drink plenty of liquids, but avoid
those with caffeine, such as coffee,
tea and cola.
Eating soft foods may be easier at
first since it may be sore to chew.
You may need to increase the fiber
in your diet since prescription pain
pills can cause constipation. Many
fresh fruits and vegetables and whole
grain breads and cereals have high
fiber content. Prunes and prune juice
often help with constipation.
Check your incision daily for signs
of infection. Call the doctor if you
have increased redness, tenderness,
swelling, pus-like drainage, warmth
at the incision site or a temperature
of 100 θF or higher.
You may get your incision wet 4
days after surgery. It is okay to use
shampoo and conditioner.
You will be told before leaving the
hospital if any other incision care is
Call your doctor if there is clear fluid
draining from your incision or nose.
Stiches will be removed in about 10
to 14 days.
Eye care will be talked about if you
have eye dryness.
When to call your Doctor or Clinic
Any signs of infection; redness,
swelling, increased pain, fever,
Any clear fluid leaking from your
nose, ear or incision, or salty-tasting
fluid that leaks down the back of
Pain not relieved by pain medicine
Sudden, severe dizziness or nausea,
or a sudden, severe headache
New or increased weakness or
drooping of the face
Excess fatigue or change in mental
Changes in vision or increased
sensitivity to light
ENT Clinic: (608) 263-6190 Monday -
Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
After 5:00 pm or weekends, and holidays,
the clinic number will be answered by the
paging operator. Ask for the ENT doctor
on-call. Leave your name and phone
number with the area code. The doctor will
call you back shortly.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 9/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5631