After an acoustic neuroma operation it is appropriate to have a period of and to use this in a targeted and intensive manner to recover from the pressures of the operation. According to the procedure and result of the operation, this can lead to temporary impairments of nerves and to balance problems, which can be reduced or eliminated through a set of measures. Whether an organised rehabilitation programmes is useful or even necessary, depends on how bad the impairments caused by the acoustic neuroma were before the operation. However, the personal environment that the patient has waiting for them at home after the operation also plays a role. Singles living alone or housewives with a family, who have to immediately shoulder all the everyday duties again, are well advised to line up an in-patient course immediately during their hospitalisation.
There is no specific acoustic neuroma rehabilitation with a kind of standardised programme. The reasons are the completely different focus points which have to be put in place for an acoustic neuroma postoperative patient, according to how the pressure before the operation was, the operating procedure and operation result, and which post-operative consequences may have arisen. Therefore, along with measures to build general strength, for secure movement and to improve general wellbeing, other specific measures are useful and necessary, such as balance training or logopedic exercises.
The operating doctor should be active in giving advice on this – if not, you should ask them what they recommend. After radiation therapy no rehabilitation is necessary.
Rehabilitation post acoustic neuroma operation can take place in your own home as a do it yourself, as an outpatient or in-patient.
With your own home, the idea is that the postoperative acoustic neuroma patient follows a programme alone at home, that they carry out themselves and that is recommended or prepared by an experienced person affected or a physiotherapist.
An outpatient rehabilitation course comprises a treatment programme in a rehabilitation facility near the patient's home so they can stay overnight at home. For this it is necessary to get time off work.
An in-patient course also requires time off work. For this the acoustic neuroma operated patient spends a few weeks in a health clinic. If an in-patient health clinic is immediately after the clinic stay (or a few days later), this is referred to as a follow-up treatment.
If the treatment begins several weeks or months after the operation, this is then called a rehabilitation programme.
You should consider the rehabilitation options after an acoustic neuroma operation during the operation preparation. This involves obtaining information from the competent pension insurance institute or the competent health insurance fund about the application procedure as well as the selection of suitable health facilities.
Pension insurance is responsible for rehab programmes for the labour force. For rehabilitation of pensioners and a few other groups of people the relevant health insurance fund is responsible. It is best to obtain the exact list of the mandatory insurance conditions and the groups of people from the pension insurance brochures.
The rehab clinic for treatment after an acoustic neuroma operation should include the subject areas of orthopaedics and neurology in its performance profile, and perhaps even a special note on follow-up treatment.
You can find out addresses of rehab clinics from the pension insurance institutes (see below for more), but on the internet there is a portal which lists and describes rehab clinics for fund associations, regions or entire countries.
Nowadays it is the norm that clinics send out prospects on their facilities and services free of charge, with requests over the phone or in writing. When requesting prospect material, you should also ask specifically whether the clinic has experience with acoustic neuroma post-operative patients and if necessary ask questions specific to your individual case, such as whether they have experience with facial paralysis.
You should deal with the possibility of follow-up or rehabilitation treatment during the run-up to the operation.
You can receive information on the position of a rehabilitation request and the relevant forms from the responsible pension fund institute and respective health insurance funds. You can also speak to your GP, neurologist or ENT doctor who is referring you for the operation.
In the clinic, in most cases after the operation social services advice is available. The social services advisor makes sure that the follow-up treatment happens seamlessly with the hospital stay; he/she informs patients regarding which procedures are covered by the patient's pension insurance provider; and provides the patient with application forms. This also includes a form for a certificate of earnings, which the pension insurance requires to check whether the patient receives the so-called transition money during rehabilitation.
Usually you can also make your request to the pension insurance provider at your health fund. Cross-divisional information is also included.
If no follow-up is chosen:
Once you are back at home you can fill in an application form, the attending doctor (not the surgeon) additionally completes and endorses it, and it is then submitted to the competent pension insurance institute. At the latest it pays off, if you have already enquired about it during the run-up and can also provide the desired rehabilitation clinic. Moreover, it also pays off if you can provide the results of the examinations before and after the operation and all the diagnosis results, as these can be enclosed with the application if possible.
The German pension insurance providers have an internet platform:
www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de, where you can find a lot of information. There you can also order information brochures on the subject free of charge – no. 300 and no. 301.
The brochures list all addresses for specific pension insurance providers in the country, states the miners' association.
A free phone service 0800 10004800 is available on weekdays from 7.30 to 19.30 (on Friday only until 15.30) and will answer all questions on rehabilitation.