I got a callback from Dr Kutz today and was able to ask a few more questions, namely:
Q: Does the middle fossa approach present more risk?
A: Slightly higher risk of injury/damage to the facial nerve. By “slightly” meaning a difference of between 7-8% chance with translab or retrosigmoid compared to 7-9% with middle fossa. It’s slightly higher, but again, much will depend on the exact location, size, and characteristics of the individual’s tumor.
Q: What are the chances of regrowth after surgery?
A: Very rare in the cases were 100% of tumor was removed. If part of the tumor is on the facial nerve and needs to be left alone, there is a slight chance of regrowth, probably around 5%. In his experience, has only had 1 patient where this happened.
I talked through my “logic” again in terms of the way I was leaning, and he re-confirmed that that made sense. That it really is about the patient’s preferences and tolerance for different things. Aside from my other reasons, I just really don’t think I’d make a very good “watch and wait” patient. Every little symptom causes panic and fear and I do NOT want to live like that.
So…..I told him I would like to move forward with surgery. The scheduler should be contacting me soon to confirm a date.
Oh, and Dr Kutz reiterated what Dr Mickey had told me, that I really should NOT smoke AT ALL (no ecigs, no patches, no nicotine, etc) for at least 2-4 weeks prior to surgery. I’ve been waiting on a firm surgery date to figure out my official “no more smokes” date, but at this point, I probably just need to give myself a deadline. 😐
I really think I’m doing the right thing.