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Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 1989-2055versión impresa ISSN 0376-7892


AVELLANEDA-OVIEDO, Edgar Mauricio; GAGO-VIDAL, Bruno; PACHECO-COMPANA, Francisco Javier  y  ALVAREZ-JORGE, Ángel. Case review of schwannoma at the Superior Member Unit, La Coruña Plastic Surgery Service, Spain. Cir. plást. iberolatinoam. [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.3, pp.313-318.  Epub 08-Feb-2021. ISSN 1989-2055.

Background and Objective

Tumors derived from Schwann cells (schwannomas, neurinomas or neurilemomas) are the most frequently nervous tissue tumors of the upper limb. They usually get confused with other kind of tumors, mainly those derived from adipose tissue also call lipomas. Although they may share some clinical characteristics, there are certainly some specific symptoms in schwannomas that allow making a correct differential diagnosis. In some cases, microsurgical techniques are necessary for its removal and subsequent reconstruction of the affected nerve.

The present study carries out a retrospective epidemiological review of a series of cases in our center, considering the clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment and the outcomes in terms of the presence or absence of sequelae.


We retrospectively reviewed 10 cases of schwannoma in the upper member collected in the Plastic Surgery Service of La Coruña (Spain) over the last 4 years. We describe age, gender, location, clinical signs, electrophysiological studies, images, treatment, follow-up and sequelae. We perform the analysis using comparative-descriptive tables.


Sixty percent of the sample were men, the median age was 47.5 years, and the median nerve was the most frequently affected. Local pain and paresthesias were the most frequent symptoms, with Tinel sign in 90% of the cases. Thirty percent of patients had nerve block (motor / sensitive) in electrophysiology study. Two cases presented discontinuity of the nerve. The microsurgical excision under optical magnification was the choice for treatment in 80% of the cases and 20% needed a sural nerve graft for repairing the affected nerve. With a mean follow-up of 12 months, 80% of the cases did not present sequelae after treatment.


Schwannomas usually produce limited symptomatology and when they do, are oftenly local symptoms. The most frequent origin was the median nerve. The adequate diagnosis requires clinical suspicion and confirmation by magnetic resonance. Those ill-defined tumors may include small nerve fascicles that, despite of optical magnification, are impossible to identify and preserve. As far as it is technically possible, healthy fascicles should be respected or if not, reconstructed to restore its continuity.

Palabras clave : Peripheral nerve; Shcwannoma; Upper limb tumour.

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