Resection of nerve tumours

Removal of schwannomas

Our leading nerve surgeons carry out this complex procedure at our Peripheral Nerve Unit

About removing nerve tumours

This procedure aims to remove peripheral nerve tumours as completely as possible, without damaging the nerve. Certain types of tumour (schwannomas) can be removed from the surface of a nerve, while others grow within a nerve (neurofibroma).

In these cases, the nerve may be opened up so that the tumour can be removed.

Each procedure is carried out using a surgical microscope, so that the surgeon can determine which tissue is part of the tumour and which tissue is healthy.

Most peripheral nerve tumours are benign (not cancerous), but can occasionally be malignant (cancerous). A common type is a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (PNST) which can grow in the lining of the nerves in the spinal cord.

Both types of tumour can grow anywhere in the body and can cause pain, numbness and loss of function.

Need to know

  • What happens during resection of nerve tumours? icon plus

    Treatment varies according to the location of growth. If a patient has a tumour in the spinal cord they may need a vertebrae removed first (laminectomy) before the surgeon can access the spinal nerves. Where a tumour grows within a nerve, a resection is carried out. Here, the section of nerve containing the tumour is removed, and the remaining nerve end is reattached.

    If the nerve isn't long enough, a healthy nerve may be taken from somewhere else and used to reattach the nerve to the muscle. If a tumour is growing in a limb, it may be necessary to remove surrounding muscle and bone. Here, rods and screws may be used to provide support.
  • How to prepare for a nerve resection icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Because you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery.

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work and exercise. If your tumour is cancerous, you will also see an oncology team. They will support you through your treatment, which may include radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Our peripheral nerve consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts in orthopaedics and neurosurgery who specialise in nerve damage and peripheral nerve injuries, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex nerve surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional peripheral nerve care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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