Long-Term Results of Surgery for Temporal Bone Paragangliomas

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Assessment of the long-term results of surgery for temporal bone paragangliomas with special consideration of the patient's ability to cope with the functional deficits.

Study Design:

Retrospective review of 36 patients who had undergone resection of a temporal bone paraganglioma 10 to 15 years previously. Assessment of the patients' subjective view of the functional outcome and quality of life by a questionnaire.


Clinical records were reviewed regarding size of tumor, technique of surgery, supportive therapy, and tumor recurrence. Patients were sent a 50-item questionnaire evaluating their quality of life and the preoperative and postoperative function of cranial nerves VII through XII.


A complete tumor removal was achieved in 30 patients (83%). There was only one tumor recurrence. The major negative effects of surgery involved hearing and dysphagia, which deterioriated in 14 and 12 patients, respectively. Thirty-five of the 36 patients (97%) reported that, despite deterioration, the cranial nerve deficits were still acceptable. Seventy-five percent of the patients regained their preoperative quality of life and 97% returned to their previous occupation in 1 to 2 years.


The otologic extradural approach allowed complete tumor removal in 83%, with minimal perioperative morbidity. No surgically induced central nervous system lesions occured. Tracheostomy was avoided and all patients resumed oral feeding. Full rehabilitation after removal of class C and CD paragangliomas may take 1 to 2 years. However, the fact that 97% of the patients finally resumed normal social life showed the ability of most patients to cope with the sequelae of surgery even in class C and CD paragangliomas.

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