During a parotidectomy, an incision is made in front of the ear. It is important to identify the facial nerve during this procedure and carefully work around it in order to reduce a patient’s risk of facial paralysis. The tumor and a small margin of surrounding tissue are then removed through the incision. The incision is stitched closed with sutures and usually heals well.
Parotidectomy may take several hours to perform, depending on the type of removal and the size and location of the patient’s individual tumor. If the tumor is benign, surgery is usually the only treatment required with only a minimal risk of recurrence. Cancerous tumors will likely need to be treated with radiation therapy after surgery to ensure that all cancerous cells have been removed.