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Ann Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Jan;1(1):3-7. doi: 10.4103/2231-0746.83143.

An objective assessment of proximal and distal facial nerve exploration during superficial parotidectomy.

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Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, MH Jalandhar Cantt, India.



This study was undertaken to compare the proximal and distal facial nerve exploration approach during superficial parotidectomy.


A retrospective analysis of patients who underwent superficial parotidectomy at our center was conducted. Cases were divided into those who underwent superficial parotidectomy using distal facial nerve exploration and those who underwent standard proximal facial nerve exploration. Statistical comparisons of intraoperative blood loss and margin status (negative, focally, positive) were conducted between these two approaches.


A total of 39 patients underwent superficial parotidectomy at our center between 2008 and 2010. The technique used in most of the cases was conventional proximal nerve exploration technique (29 cases). Distal exploration of the buccal branch was undertaken only in 10 cases, on account of difficulty in locating the main trunk intraoperatively due to the presence of postinflammatory fibrosis. The average patient age was 48 years with a female preponderance (67%). Both the techniques consumed almost same average operative time (2.4 hours) and average intraoperative blood loss (68.0 cc vs 25.4 cc) was more in the cases where proximal nerve exploration was resorted (S.E (d) = 0.89). No significant difference in surgical margin status was noticed between the two techniques (P > 0.05).


Both the techniques are efficient without compromising the surgical margins, but the average intraoperative blood loss is less in distal facial nerve exploration technique.


Distal; facial nerve; proximal; superficial parotidectomy

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