What to expect following Parotidectomy

Removal of part or all of the parotid gland (parotidectomy) may be performed as an outpatient or overnight stay on the hospital. Occasionally it is performed with neck dissection in the setting of certain types of cancer.

The surgery takes 2-3 hours to perform and postoperatively a drain, sutures, and a large dressing are placed. The drain is removed in 1-2 days and the dressing thereafter, and the sutures are removed in the office at approximately one week

The incision should be kept dry for approximately 48 hours after the drain is removed and a topical antibiotic ointment is recommended for one week to the incision and drain sites.

It is advised not to fly or drive for two weeks following the procedure.

Complications relating to parotidectomy include paresthesia or numbness of the lobule of the ear (most common as the sensory nerve to the ear runs over the gland and tumor), hematoma, infection, facial nerve paralysis, and gustatory sweating (Frey’s syndrome – a condition characterized by moisture of the skin over the gland while eating and/or salivating). The above-mentioned complications are all rare (<1%) and you should notify your surgeon if you experience any of these problems.

Parotidectomy is generally considered a safe surgical procedure whose benefits when indicated out weigh the risks.

If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with your surgeon or other member of our staff.