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J Laryngol Otol. 2014 Jan;128 Suppl 1:S44-9. doi: 10.1017/S0022215113001394. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Free fat grafting in superficial parotid surgery to prevent Frey's syndrome and improve aesthetic outcome.

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Department of Otolaryngology, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.



Frey's syndrome and cosmesis are important considerations in parotid surgery. Placement of an interpositional barrier can prevent these complications; however, surgical technique and efficacy remain controversial.


A prospective case series was collected comprising all patients undergoing primary superficial parotidectomy for benign pathology with abdominal free fat grafting between June 2007 and December 2010, performed by a single surgeon. A survey was also distributed to otorhinolaryngology consultants across Australia to assess current practice.


Twenty-eight patients were included. No patient had clinical symptoms of Frey's syndrome. Seventy-five per cent of patients were completely satisfied with their aesthetic outcome, 18 per cent scored 4/5 and the remaining 7 per cent (2 patients) scored 3/5. The survey revealed that 79 per cent of respondents did not use interpositional grafts.


Abdominal free fat is ideal for grafting as it is an effective, safe, simple, accessible, fast and inexpensive method of providing an interpositional graft.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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