Stop aspirin and other drugs that cause bleeding one week before surgery.
One to two nights in hospital and two weeks off work.
Temporary or permanent weakness in the facial muscles can happen.
Numbness in the skin and ear lasts for months after surgery.
What is this for and is it effective?
The parotid gland makes saliva. The saliva enters the mouth through a small duct in the cheek. There is a parotid gland on each side of the face and neck, just below the ear. There are other large and small saliva glands as well, so removing one saliva gland won’t cause dry mouth.
The parotid gland may need to be removed if it:
- Develops a tumour or lump. These can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
- Develops stones in the ducts that take the saliva from the gland to the mouth. This can cause painful swelling with meals and sometimes recurrent bacterial infections.
Tests on parotid gland lumps include:
- Ultrasound shows the size and shape of the gland and the location and size of lumps or stones.
- An ultrasound guided needed sample (FNA) can determine if the lump is benign or due to cancer. This is like having a blood test, but the needle is placed into the lump to draw out some cells rather than into a vein to draw blood.
- Sometimes a CT of the neck and chest is needed.