Post-Treatment > Cognitive/Emotional Issues

Dealing with a re-occurance

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Does anyone here have experience going through a re-occurrence of an AN?

I had 3 surgeries to remove one in 2013 and it looks like I'm going to be having surgery again soon. I'm looking for information on dealing with not only the re-occurrence but dealing with the psychological/emotional issues surrounding another surgery (pre and post).


Hi Scott and welcome to this forum of caring, supportive friends .....

Yes, I had a regrowth of my acoustic neuroma following total surgical removal via retrosigmoid approach.  Three years after the first surgery I had the second surgery for the regrowth via translab approach.  The second surgery was four years ago and my MRI in May of this year showed all to be stable.

I chose my second surgeons very, very carefully because I wanted the best possible outcome.

I will say this, recovery from the second surgery was way easier than the first one, since I had already compensated for the missing vestibular system.

Like you, it was an emotional roller coaster for several years in there, but I can assure you that I have fully recovered now, but with some "new normals" in place.

Let us know if you have further questions.

Thoughts and prayers.


Dear CHD63,
I read with great interest your story about having several surgeries. May I ask which doctor performed the second procedure at Duke? Which neurosurgical team did you think was best?
I just saw Dr. Fukushima and plan to have him operate on me but also talked to Dr. Friedman, who impressed me. I'm wondering if one is better than the other.

Hi AlabamaDonna .....

My first brain surgery, almost 25 years ago, was done at UPMC in Pittsburgh for decompression of pressure on the trigeminal nerve, not an AN.  Eleven years ago my first AN surgery was done by Dr. Fukushima at Duke.  My second AN surgery (for the regrowth of my AN) was done eight years ago by Drs. Friedman and Schwartz in CA.

Dr. Fukushima is in his late 70s in age now, just so you know.

For me, if I have any further problems AN related, I will always go back to Dr. Friedman, who, as you know, is now at UC San Diego.  Dr. Friedman still orders my follow-up MRIs, which are then sent to him for evaluation.

For what it is worth, flying to CA from the East Coast was a non-issue and I had zero problems.  While still in LA, nine days post-op I was walking around downtown LA with friends sightseeing.

As for which doctor is better, that is a subjective question/answer.  Both of the doctors you mentioned have done hundreds of AN surgeries.  I do not know how you could see any statistics on outcomes.  Even I cannot compare them because one did my first surgery and one did the second.  In most circumstances the first surgery would normally be a longer recovery anyway, so .....

Best wishes.


One has to consider that it is not just the surgeon that counts, it is the whole team. From what I have read on the forum, Friedman has assembled a highly experienced team that routinely work together and function like a well oiled machine. It seems as if whenever someone has a problem after surgery elsewhere, they go to Friedman next time around. I have not read many posts about people that had surgery at Duke, although I know it is a fine hospital. I think the age of the surgeon is also a factor. If Fukushima is near 70, it does not seem likely to me that he will actually perform the surgery, but perhaps supervise? Did you talk about his team?


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