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What is Parotidectomy?

Parotidectomy is an operation to remove parotid glands. These glands are saliva producing glands in the side of the cheek.

What are the indications for parotidectomy

Parotidectomy is indicated for several reasons...

  • chronic recurrent infection – Parotitis

  • tumours

  • congenital vascular malformations

  • congenital branchial arch anomalies

What is involved in the surgery?

The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. An incision is made in the skin in front of the ear and into the neck. The Facial nerve is identified. This is a nerve that supplies nerve fibers to the muscles that move the face. The affected gland is then removed and the incision is closed with great care taken to ensure the safety of the facial nerve at all times. A small drain is placed and this is usually removed after 1 or 2 days.

What are the complications of Parotidectomy?

  1. The usual complications of any surgery – bleeding, infection and a scar

  2. Injury to the facial nerve – occurs very rarely. Injury to this nerve will affect movement of the facial muscles.

  3. Frey’s syndrome – a rare complication where the skin of the cheek sweats a little with eating.

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