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Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1999 Aug;24(4):365-8.

Frey's syndrome following parotidectomy: prevention using a rotation sternocleidomastoid muscle flap.

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Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Queens Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK.


The benefit of using a sternocleidomastoid flap following parotidectomy to reduce the incidence of symptomatic gustatory sweating (Frey's syndrome) was reviewed. A retrospective study was undertaken to review subjective and objective symptoms of Frey's syndrome in two groups of patients, one of whom had undergone superficial parotidectomy with a sternocleidomastoid flap rotated at the time of surgery and a second group of patients who had undergone a standard superficial parotidectomy. A total of 22 patients, randomly sampled and willing to attend, were evaluated postoperatively, at a median time from surgery of 42 months (range 23-82 months) in the non-flap group and 44 months (range 14-66 months) in the flap group, by Minor's starch iodine test. In the 11 patients who had a sternocleidomastoid flap rotated, two had evidence of gustatory sweating. Of the 11 that had not undergone sternocleidomastoid flap rotation, nine patients showed evidence of gustatory sweating (P < 0.05, chi 2 test). There were two patients in total who had clinical symptoms of Frey's syndrome and both of these had not undergone flap rotation at the time of parotidectomy.

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