Decision made…I guess.

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.

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