Hi, Victoria ~
I didn't have the Translabyrinth surgery (I had Retrosigmoid debulking surgery) but I wanted to add my welcome. Every AN patient has a slightly different experience but there are distinct similarities, too. The average AN removal operation takes 8-10 hours (mine was just under 9 hours). Many AN surgery patients experience nausea following the surgery but that usually passes within a few days. I wasn't nauseous but that is apparently not the norm. Balance is also a challenge for most but that is specific to the patient and how much your brain has compensated for losing balance input from the affected ear. Again, imbalance can be dealt with using therapy - and time. Post-op fatigue is almost a constant with AN surgery patients. It is severe immediately following the surgery and takes time to subside. Some have it for many months. Mine dissipated quickly but I don't have the stamina I once had. However, that could be attributed to my age (I'm a healthy 68). As Debbi stated, these days they only shave a small strip of hair for the incision. I have a relatively short mens haircut and the shaved portion was covered with new hair growth within a few weeks. Within a month, it was no longer visible and my barber was able to cut my hair normally. I doubt your ladies 'short' haircut is anywhere as short as mine and so, the shaved spot should be easy to cover and soon cease to be visible at all, even by you.
A few caveats; although your balance can be improved with some work on your part, it will never be 100% of what it was prior to being affected by the AN. I consider my balance about 80% of what it once was. There is a small chance that you could experience some degree of facial immobility following the surgery (I did not). That generally improves and again, with some therapy, it can be vanquished. If not, there are minor correctional surgeries available to help remedy whatever facial deficit you might encounter, post-op. I was SSD going into the surgery (the unfortunate result of procrastination and denial ) so that was never an issue for me to consider. I had adapted quite well to the unilateral deafness and have not pursued the option of a BAHA, although that remains a fallback plan should my SSD become too onerous. Being retired makes it easier to cope. Finally, I want to emphasize that AN removal is a very demanding surgery. It is not something you 'get through', recover and move on as if it never happened. Even with the best outcomes, as I experienced, a few 'reminders' are still part of my life. Fortunately, they are minor and invisible to others. I hope you have a similar outcome to your surgery but as with all such operations, there are no absolute guarantees. Your doctor seems to be on the right track and your trust in him is crucial. Others can give you more information, I'm sure, but I wanted to chime in as best I could in an effort to help you figure this thing out. I trust your husband realizes that you have a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that is operable. Following my AN diagnosis, I had to explain that to some folks who, when they heard the words 'brain tumor', got sad faces and looked at me with pity, assuming I was a goner. Hardly.
I think you'll do well, Victoria and of course, as your new friends, we're here to advise, inform and, most of all, support you in whatever way we can.