Hi - I am now 3 weeks post translab (Drs Schwartz & Friedman at UCSD). I want to thank Girldad for sharing his detailed experiences. His information and many others on the AN website drove my decision to travel across the country to be treated by this superb team. Prior to this decision, I had met with three experienced MDs in the NJ/NY area and although their information was helpful, their evasive AN numbers or low surgical procedures (1-2/month) supported my informed decision to go to UCSD. I am here on this community site to share my experience to perhaps help others.
My postop course was very similar to some others so I will just share highlights. Preop, my tumor was 1.9cm and I had significant hearing loss & tinnitus but no other symptoms (62 yrs). I was discharged after 2 nights and did not have nausea/headaches/complications and no facial nerve issues. I was walking around on the hospital floor (with a nurse) after they pulled my IVs/catheter. I had no appetite and still to this day have little to no appetite, but I force my self to eat. My taste buds are definitely altered but this is temporary. I felt profoundly weak for the first 4-5 days and needed to rest a lot but took short walks plus went up steps 2-3X/day for the 1st 12 days. Now I go on walks multiple times/day, do errands, vacuum, laundry and drive without difficultly and feel lucky to be feeling so well.
I am not dizzy nor seem to have balance issues but I am not back to my preop status and not nearly as active as I was before surgery (I bike/run/walk). I have to remember not to lower my head below my heart and not to lift more than 10 lbs and not to over-do my activities. I sleep with multiple pillows to keep my head at least 30 degrees higher than my heart and at times wake up at 5 am and unable to fall back asleep. Once I hit my 4 week milestone I can start exercising again and try and gain all the muscle mass lost. Weight loss - at least 10 lbs.
I understand because my tumor was growing so slowly for so long the right vestibular system was already compensating for the lefts' destruction. I still have tinnitus (24/7) in both ears but try to ignore these sounds. My next steps are researching hearing rehab as I now have no hearing on the left due to surgery.