Published online Feb 28, 2016. doi: 10.5319/wjo.v6.i1.13
Peer-review started: September 1, 2015
First decision: November 27, 2015
Revised: December 18, 2015
Accepted: January 21, 2016
Article in press: January 22, 2016
Published online: February 28, 2016
Core tip: The management of intratemporal facial nerve schwannoma (FNS) has changed over the past 15 years. Current management strategies involve tumor stripping, bony decompression, radiosurgery, and observation. Each of these treatment options are designed to minimize the risk of injury to a functional facial nerve. Complete surgical excision and cable grafting are reserved for tumors which have already resulted in severe facial weakness. Each management strategy will be discussed in detail with a management algorithm will be presented. Intratemporal FNS are unusual benign tumors affecting the facial nerve as it passes through the bony canal of the temporal bone. Previous management paradigms involved complete resection of the tumor and nerve with simultaneous cable grafting; however, patients were left with long term facial paresis. Newer treatment strategies resulting in less facial nerve morbidity have become more popular in the last 15 years including: Surgical debulking, stereotactic radiosurgery, bony decompression and observation. Each of these strategies will be discussed with emphasis on facial nerve outcomes and tumor control rates.