Reconstructive Surgery

Parotidectomy Surgery: The removal of the parotid gland

Introduction to Parotidectomy Surgery

Parotidectomy is a surgical procedure primarily performed to treat tumors or growths within the parotid gland. These tumors are usually benign (non-cancerous), but can also be malignant (cancerous). The procedure involves making an incision in front of the ear and carefully removing the affected portion of the parotid gland while preserving the nearby facial nerve that controls movement of the muscles of the face.

The extent of the parotidectomy depends on the nature and size of the tumor. In some cases, a partial parotidectomy may be sufficient, involving the removal of only the tumor or a portion of the gland. In other cases, a total parotidectomy may be necessary, which involves removing the entire parotid gland.

During the surgery, Mr Butler takes precautions to minimise damage to the facial nerve, which runs through the parotid gland and controls the movement of the facial muscles. Preserving the facial nerve function is crucial to maintain normal facial expressions and prevent complications such as facial weakness or paralysis.

Key Details of the Procedure

  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Cost: $18000 to $27000
  • Anaesthetic: General anaesthetic
  • Length of stay: 1 to 2 days

Post-Surgery Care and Downtime

  • Showering: You can shower the wounds 48 hours after surgery.
  • Exercise: Light exercise can be resumed 1 week after surgery. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for 4 weeks post-surgery.
  • Driving: You can drive 1 week after surgery.
  • Work: You can return to desk-based work 1 week after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Parotidectomy Surgery

What is the purpose of parotidectomy surgery?

Parotidectomy surgery is primarily performed to treat tumors or growths within the parotid gland. These tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

What can I expect during recovery?

After surgery, you may experience some discomfort and swelling in the surgical area. These symptoms can be managed with prescribed pain medication. Most patients can resume light activities within a week and return to work at around two weeks. However, strenuous activities should be avoided for at least four weeks.

Will there be visible scarring after the surgery?

The incision for parotidectomy surgery is typically made in front of the ear and then curving down onto the neck, following the natural skin crease to minimise visible scarring. Over time, the scar will fade and become less noticeable.

What are the potential risks and complications of parotidectomy surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, parotidectomy surgery carries potential risks and complications. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and changes in sensation or movement. Mr Butler will discuss each of the potential risks with you in detail during your consultation.

How long will I need to stay in the hospital after surgery?

The typical hospital stay after parotidectomy surgery is 1 to 2 days. This allows for adequate monitoring and management of any immediate post-operative complications.