Sorry that you are now 'qualified' to join us (as an Acoustic Neuroma patient) but I trust that your visits to this site will be beneficial for you.
While radiation seems a perfectly viable approach to ridding yourself of your tumor, as with all medical procedures, including microsurgery, it is not 100% guaranteed in every aspect and complications can occur, as you well know. Frankly, no matter what approach you decide to take, there will always be the risk of complications, post-op. To be frank, those complications can sometimes be severe and long-lasting, whether you choose microsurgery or radiation. However, due to its invasive nature, microsurgery seems to carry a somewhat higher risk of post-op complications, as opposed to radiation, alone. Had radiation been a viable option for me, I very likely would have gone that route.
For what it may be worth to you...respective to gathering information on possible approaches....as my signature shows, I was diagnosed with a large (4.5 cm) AN and had no option other than microsurgery. However, my neurosurgeon took a somewhat novel approach; he used the sub-occipital retrosigmoid approach to remove about Ã‚Â½ the tumor, reducing it to about 2.5 cm and using nerve monitoring to avoid vestibular and related nerve damage. The operation went well and there were no real complications, post-op. After a 3 month 'rest' period, I underwent 'Part II' of my treatment. A series of brief (20 minutes), daily, low-dose radiation (FSR) treatments (in my case, 26 treatments over 5 weeks) that had been carefully plotted by both my neurosurgeon and a radiation oncologist he worked with to attack the remaining tumor and kill its DNA. I suffered no ill effects from the radiation other than a distinct case of boredom.
I'm now almost 7 months post-surgery and over 2 months post-radiation with no real problems. Granted, my hearing on the AN side is gone, as it has been for quite a few years, but my balance is probably 90% of what it was before the AN symptoms kicked in last spring and I have almost no other symptoms at this point, except for occasional minor (but annoying) problems that I attribute to the tumor swelling a bit as an effect of the radiation. This, I'm told, is normal (post radiation) as long as it doesn't get too severe or last indefinitely, which I trust won't be the case. I'll have a follow-up MRI scan in April to determine the status of the remaining tumor. I hope to see it going into necrosis (cell death). So do my physicians.
What decisions you make will ultimately will, of course, be yours . Its not an easy road, as we all know - too well. However, there is sometimes something besides the 'either/or' approach to having your AN removed. In my case, I utilized both options: surgery and radiation. However, I had a very large tumor and a very concerned neurosurgeon who wanted to do everything possible to avoid leaving me with nerve damge of any kind while still ridding me of the tumor. I survived both surgical and radiation procedures quite well, which should be encouraging, if not definitive.
I hope my account is of some help to you as you wade through your options. I wish you the very best.