The operative learning curve and its effect on facial nerve outcome in vestibular schwannoma surgery.Am J Otol. 1996 Jul; 17(4):643-7.AJ
The successful removal of vestibular schwannomas requires a team approach by skillful and appropriately trained surgeons. It is generally perceived that the results of surgery, especially facial nerve outcome, will improve as the surgical team acquires more experience. This study of 300 patients undergoing surgical removal of vestibular schwannomas confirms that there was a significant learning curve for facial nerve outcome. In the first 50 cases, 52% had satisfactory outcomes (House grades I-III), whereas in the last 50 cases 92% had satisfactory outcomes. The major improvement came between the first 50 cases and the second 50 cases (House grades I-III results at 12 months improved from 52% to 78%). After the second 50 patients there was a gradual, but continued improvement, which is also attributable to increased surgical experience. Most of this learning curve was related to the translabyrinthine approach. House grades I-III results were attained for 45% of the first 40 and 70% of the second 40 translabyrinthine tumor removals.