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J Craniofac Surg. 2016 Jan;27(1):e26-33. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002299.

Eleven Years of Parotid Gland Surgery in a Plastic and Reconstructive Department.

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*Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Centro Hospitalar S. João †Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto ‡Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.



Salivary gland tumors are an uncommon entity, comprising 3% to 6% of all head and neck tumors. Approximately 75% to 80% occur in the parotid gland, and 80% are benign. It is difficult to establish epidemiologic characteristics of parotid gland tumors due to their low incidence. We performed a retrospective study to analyze clinical diagnostic and therapeutic features of patients submitted to parotid gland surgery.


A retrospective study was performed, regarding all the patients (n = 96) submitted to surgery for treatment of parotid gland disease in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of Centro Hospitalar de S. João (Porto, Portugal) between 2002 and 2012. Medical records were analyzed and the following data were collected: patient age at diagnosis, sex, tumor location, symptom, tumor position, preoperative diagnosis techniques, type of operation performed, pathology, postoperative complications, adjuvant therapy (radiotherapy or chemotherapy), follow-up time, and tumor recurrence. SPSS was used for statistical analysis.


Fifty-two percent of the patients were males and 48% females and mean age of 52.02. In 68.75% of the patients, superficial parotidectomy was performed. Benign pathology was found in 72% patients, and pleomorphic adenoma the most common tumor (39%). Facial paralysis (41.7%), Frey syndrome (9.4%), and great auricular nerve hyposthesia (10.4%) were major complications. Tumor recurrence was observed in 16 patients (16.7%), which forced 17 reoperations (17.7%). There were 5 deaths (5.2%).


For most tumors, superficial parotidectomy is an effective treatment with acceptable morbidity. In patients of malignancy, treatment should be aggressive.

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