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Parotidectomy (superficial)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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A superficial parotidectomy is performed to remove tumours of the parotid salivary gland. The patient must be forewarned about operative risk of damage to the facial nerve.

A long incision is made behind the mandible and extended deeply beneath the external auditory meatus to identify the trunk of the facial nerve. The facial nerve and its branches are traced forwards in the parotid gland and all tissue superficial to them excised together with the tumour. A suction drain is applied to drain the wound.

Post-operatively, the movements of all muscles supplied by branches of the facial nerve should be checked. Initially, there may be weakness, but complete recovery should occur within 6-8 weeks unless a nerve has been divided at operation.

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