Hi, Susie ~
Welcome. First, let me assure you that your concerns regarding the post-operative recovery process are perfectly normal. Your doctors offered you the 'standard' times for the surgery and recovery but as you know, these can vary from patient to patient and shouldn't be construed as absolute. The doctors opinion that once the AN begins to grow it doesn't stop is a bit overblown. Although some ANs continue the growth cycle some do
stop or else grow very
slowly. The dilemma is that there is no way of predicting with accuracy whether your AN will stop or continue to grow, and it should be mentioned that growth can be rapid in some patients. Why, we do not know. That being noted the Middle Fossa
surgical procedure does offer a fair chance of preserving hearing in the affected ear but of course, as your doctors probably told you, that cannot be guaranteed.
As for your post-op issues, they will depend on a number of factors including the exact placement of the tumor and of course, your doctors surgical skill. Immediately post-op, you may experience some degree of nausea (I didn't
) and you'll definitely be extremely fatigued. The fatigue will last for some time but should abate within a few months. Balance issues are very common but faithfully engaging in vestibular exercises can help, a lot. Assuming no real post-op issues such as facial nerve damage, your recovery for the first week or so will mostly consist of resting, napping and sleeping. No lifting over 15 pounds and nothing too
strenuous. Walking is highly recommended, especially over uneven terrain (to help facilitate regaining your balance
). We always warn: 'individual results may vary'. Meaning that we are unique and there isn't a template for the recovery process. Some AN patients recover quickly and are running marathons within six months. Some AN surgery patients have ongoing issues that bedevil them for a long time. Most recover enough within the six-week time frame to resume a fairly normal life. Of course attitude
is always crucial to a good recovery. One needs patience and a will to surmount any obstacles that may exist.
We're here to advise, listen and support you in this experience, Susie. I hope you'll allow us to do so. We'll be thinking of and praying for you as you approach the Big Day (July 24th). Please try to keep us updated. Thanks. Jim