Hi, Patti - and welcome. I'm sorry about your AN diagnosis but glad you found the ANA website discussion forums and decided to register and post your questions, which are pertinent.
First: forget about shaving any of your hair. The doctor (an assistant, actually) will 'prep' you by shaving a very small sliver of hair that should be easily covered by the rest of your hair - even if it's short - once the operation is over and the surgery site is healing.
The likelihood of facial weakness following the surgery is approximately 5 - 15%. Usually, the weakness is temporary (a few weeks, perhaps months) due to swelling but in some cases it can be permanent. However, there are therapy and surgical techniques available to ameliorate post-op facial nerve damage from AN surgery.
It's very rare that speech is affected by the surgery but some AN patients do report some cognitive/memory loss issues. Those too, are often temporary but can be permanent although most AN surgical patients adjust to these deficits.
Resuming normal pre-op activities varies greatly and your doctor will be the best judge of what is practical and safe for you to resume, and when you should attempt to do so. Some AN surgical patients resume running, etc within a few months of their surgery. Some need a longer recovery period. I was driving again within 2 weeks of my hospital discharge, with my doctor's permission. However, we always caution AN patients in recovery to 'listen to your body' and never try to compare your rate of recovery to another AN patient as we're unique and what one person does or doesn't while recovering has no real bearing on our individual situation, age, state of heath, etc.
To the best of my knowledge, post-op plane travel is not a problem.
Possible long-term effects of the surgery are loss of unilateral hearing in the affected ear, a diminishing of the ability to balance and lesser issues that are just as problematic such as an eye that won't fully close or the inability to chew on the affected side. Some of these complications can also take an emotional toll on the patient but are usually transient.
Acoustic neuromas can and do re-grow but the rate of regrowth after surgery is less than 5%. Often, non-invasive radiation can be used to destroy a re-growing AN.
Frankly, Patti, there can be no guarantees with an acoustic neuroma and subsequent surgery. History gives us odds and likelihoods but as I stated, we're unique individuals and so its impossible to tell you exactly what will happen in your case. I wish we could, whether it were to prepare or encourage you. Unfortunately, no one can. We can only use our collective experience as AN patients to offer you the best information we can, advice if needed and, most of all, our support.
I strongly suggest you ask your doctors at HEI (good choice) these same questions for a doctor's perspective.
Meanwhile, try not to be frightened or overwhelmed. An acoustic neuroma is benign (not malignant). Surgeons have been removing them for decades and techniques have greatly improved. I'm a good example of an AN patient with a large (4.5 cm) tumor that underwent surgery and coordinated radiation with an excellent result (no real post-op issues and a rapid recovery). I trust you'll enjoy a similar outcome.