(Superficial Parotidectomy; Total Parotidectomy)
|The parotid gland is the largest of the salivary glands.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Remove a tumor in the gland
- Remove lymph nodes that could be cancerous
- Treat recurrent infections in the gland
- Numbness of the face and ear
- Damage to the nerve that controls movement of muscles in your face
- Saliva drainage—Saliva may pool in the upper neck after surgery. It may also drain through the incision after it has been closed. This is temporary.
- Frey’s syndrome—This happens when salivary nerve fibers grow into the sweat glands. While eating, some people may notice sweating on the side of the face where the surgery was done.
- Fistula—This is an abnormal connection that may occur between the mouth, nose, throat, or skin.
- Swelling of your airway
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Do a physical exam and review your medical history
- Order blood tests and have x-rays taken
Talk to you about any medicines, herbs, and dietary supplements that you may be taking—You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, ibuprofen , naproxen )
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel (Plavix)
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
- Superficial parotidectomy—3-4 hours
- Total parotidectomy—Five hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Check your facial movements by asking you to smile or pout
- Show you how to care for the drain since you will have it when you go home
Keep the wound clean:
- Use hydrogen peroxide and a cotton swab to clean the area. Do this two times a day.
- Put antibiotic ointment on the wound.
- Follow the instructions for caring for your drain. It will usually be removed in 2-4 days.
- You may also need to return to the hospital to have the sutures removed. This may be in 4-6 days. Once the sutures are out, clean the area with mild soap and water.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the surgery site
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you were given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Spitting or vomiting blood
- New, unexplained symptoms
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org/
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology http://www.entcanada.org/
Dictionary of cancer terms. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary/?CdrID=44770 . Accessed November 19, 2010.
Ghorayeb B. Parotidectomy: frequently asked questions. Otolaryngology Houston website. Available at: http://www.ghorayeb.com/parotidectomyfaq.html . Updated November 17, 2010. Accessed November 22, 2010.
Parotidectomy. Georgetown University Hospital website. Available at: http://www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org/body%5Fdept.cfm?id=1017 . Accessed November 19, 2010.
Surgical procedures: neck dissection. Greater Baltimore Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.gbmc.org/body.cfm?id=198 . Accessed November 19, 2010.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -