COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place at The Walton Centre

Restrictions remain in place across the NHS in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety measures in place over the 18 months therefore remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice.

Due to the increased transmission risk posed by the Omicron variant, visiting has been suspended within The Walton Centre except for exceptional circumstances.

Neurophysiology during your microvascular decompression surgery

Your consultant has asked for Neurophysiology staff to monitor you during your microvascular decompression operation. During the operation the nerve that supplies your hearing is monitored to minimize any risk of hearing loss. Your consultant would also like you to have a hearing test before your Microvascular Decompression operation — see the audiometry patient information leaflet.


What is Neurophysiology?

Neurophysiology is the study of the nervous system, looking at the function of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

What will Neurophysiology team be doing during my operation?

The team member will be monitoring your auditory (hearing) nerve by means of a repetitive clicking noise presented through a tube and a sponge into your ear on side of surgery. We record this information via three short fine needles inserted into your scalp — this occurs whilst you are asleep and they are removed whilst you are asleep. A complex waveform is recorded; if we see changes to the waveform recorded we alert your surgeon, as these changes may affect your
hearing.

Will I be aware of the monitoring?

No

How will the results assist my treatment?

This monitoring allows for safer surgery.

Are there any risks?

None from the Neurophysiology monitoring. Your surgeon will discuss the risks of the operation.

How long will the operation take?

Your surgeon will have discussed the surgery with you at a clinic appointment

What are the consequences of not having this monitoring?

We will not be able to monitor your auditory nerve and damage to this nerve may occur causing hearing problems.

What happens after the monitoring?

All the electrodes and stimulation tube are removed prior to you waking up. You may have small sore areas where the needle electrodes have been placed in your scalp. All electrodes are removed before you wake up. Some bruising may occur following your monitoring — any concerns should be raised with your surgeon.

  • Last Updated:
    01 December 2020
  • Review Date:
    01 December 2022
  • Author:
    Beverley Haworth, Neurophysiology Department
  • Summary:

    Your consultant has asked for Neurophysiology staff to monitor you during your Microvascular Decompression operation. During the operation the nerve that supplies your hearing is monitored to minimize any risk of hearing loss.

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