The parotid gland is a major salivary gland located near the rear of the jaw, and can occasionally develop abnormal masses within. In most cases, these tumors are benign and not at all dangerous, often a presentation of pleomorphic adenoma or warthin’s tumor. These can be identified by their painless nature and the ability to move them around easily, and yet removal of them is necessary as with sufficient time they can become cancerous. Other masses can also form within this gland such as acinic cell carcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. If you’re experiencing facial paralysis, numbness, or pain you should check with Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin, your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV for a consultation to discuss if parotid gland surgery may be needed.
What Would Cause Me To Need Parotid Gland Surgery?
In the event that masses located within your parotid gland are revealed to be cancerous or otherwise malignant the removal of the parotid gland is called for, as well as the removal of the surrounding lymph nodes. This is to prevent any chance of the malignant growths from spreading or metastasizing and causing further complications.
What Is Involved In The Procedure, How Long Will It Take?
Parotid gland surgery takes a minimum of 90 minutes but can take as long as 3 hours depending on the location of the growth. In those instances where the malignant growth is located near the bottom of the ear, the duration will lean towards the 3-hour mark due to additional complications in removing the gland. The overall length, regardless of position, is in part due to the presence of a nerve that passes directly through the middle of the parotid gland that must be worked around.
What Are The Side Effects Of Having The Parotid Gland Removed?
One of the first concerns expressed by patients is whether or not the removal of this gland will affect their ability to produce saliva. Thankfully no reduction in their ability to produce saliva will occur. In most cases, the side-effects are relatively mild, but due to the sensitive nature of the nerves passing through the parotid gland, more serious side-effects are possible. These can include paralysis of various portions of the face causing Bell’s Palsy type symptoms, including difficulty closing the affected eye, closing the lips, kissing, and other activities involving fine motor skills in the face.
What Is Recovery From The Surgery Going To Entail?
Patients who are in relatively good health prior to the surgery may be released from the hospital on the day following their surgery, or in some cases even the same day. A surgical drain is put in place to help alleviate the buildup of blood that may occur following the procedure, this will be removed one or two weeks after the surgery. The patient’s ear will often present with numbness due to the severing of the ears sensory nerves during the surgery, though this usually resolves itself within 9-12 months.
If you have a condition that you believe may be treated by parotid gland surgery, or simply have more questions about the procedure, contact Khavkin Clinic for a consultation.