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Laryngoscope. 2010 Apr;120(4):724-30. doi: 10.1002/lary.20822.

Long-term results of morbidity after parotid gland surgery in benign disease.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.



To determine the incidence of major and minor complications and their impact on patients' comfort after parotid surgery in benign disease.




Four hundred ninety-two patients were included. Total parotidectomy (TP) was performed in 65.8%, superficial parotidectomy (SP) in 27.2%, and partial superficial parotidectomy (PSP) in 7.0%. Patients were interviewed using a self-designed questionnaire. Incidence of complications was evaluated depending on the extent of surgery and intensity of complaints. To ascertain the impact of morbidity on their daily lives, patients were asked to estimate it according to a visual analog scale.


Frey's syndrome occurred in 63.4%, and temporary facial nerve palsy in 32.7% of all cases. Both rates were significantly reduced after PSP. Permanent facial nerve paresis was observed in 2.3% of the cases, but in no case after PSP. Perception of patients and their scores reflected these results. Scores regarding Frey's syndrome and facial nerve paresis showed a significant positive correlation with extent of surgery. The recurrence rate was 2.2%; no recurrences were noted after PSP. Scores of perceived general condition indicated an excellent state.


The incidence of complications was reduced after PSP compared to SP or TP. Patient scores, which represent their perception of these complications, reflected these data and may be an additional instrument to measure outcome. These data suggest that less invasive operative techniques should be considered in case of a benign disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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