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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Nov;64(11):1583-6.

Lipomatous lesions of the parotid gland.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, West Sussex, UK.



Lipomatous lesions of the parotid gland are rare and seldom considered in the initial diagnosis of a parotid mass. We report our experience in the management of patients with lipomatous lesions affecting the parotid gland.


Retrospective analysis of all parotidectomies performed for neoplastic lesions in the maxillofacial unit between 1975 and 2003 and patients with lipomatous lesions involving the parotid gland were identified; 638 parotidectomies were performed in this period on 629 patients in which 660 neoplasms were identified. Eight patients were found to have lipomatous lesions and form the basis of this study.


Lipomatous lesions accounted for only 1.3% of parotid tumors and occurred more frequently in males, at a ratio of 3 to 1. The most common presentation was that of a slowly enlarging, painless mass. Computed tomography scan was the most frequent imaging modality undertaken, and in 3 patients a diagnosis of a lipoma was made preoperatively. Seven patients underwent a superficial parotidectomy and 1 patient had a total conservative parotidectomy because of the deep lobe location of the mass. Five patients were found to have a focal lipoma and 3 patients had diffuse lipomatosis. There were no recurrences. Temporary facial nerve palsy and Frey's syndrome were the most frequent complications.


Lipomatous lesions accounted for only 1.3% of all parotid tumors. There were no specific distinguishing clinical features in our patients, and an accurate preoperative diagnosis was made in 3 patients based on imaging investigations. A well-circumscribed lipoma was more common than diffuse lipomatosis. Superficial parotidectomy was the treatment of choice and there were no recurrences in our series.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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