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Facial nerve damage following surgery for cerebellopontine angle tumours. Prevention and comprehensive treatment.

Facial nerve (CN VII) palsy or even its transient paresis causes physical disability but is also a psychosocial problem. Immediately after vestibular schwannoma removal, different degrees of CN VII paresis occur in 20-70% of patients. Facial nerve paresis is observed in 10-40% after surgery of cerebellopontine angle meningiomas. Postoperative facial nerve weakness significantly reduces or completely withdraws with time in the majority of cases. However, even if prognosis for CN VII regeneration is good, proper management is needed because of the potential for serious ophthalmic complications. In this paper, the authors raise the issue of perioperative prophylaxis and comprehensive treatment of postoperative paresis of CN VII. Prophylaxis and treatment of ophthalmic complications are discussed. Current trends in the treatment of intraoperative loss of facial nerve continuity, management of facial paresis with good prognosis and dealing with facial palsy with no spontaneous recovery are also described in the paper.

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