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Does Parotidectomy lead to alteration of face?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1290 Questions
Dr. Virma,
Hello, I want to give you an update. The FNAC was inconclusive. Can you imagine that? Not only is parotid cancer rare, but in 10% of the time, a FNAC can come back inconclusive and cancer cannot be ruled out. Only me, this kind of stuff could only happen to me.

So I sit here, waiting for my foot to heal, suck down my Krill Oil pills as they've always been a great supplement to my regular ADHD. I have until the 18th, then I have to stop because fish oil can cause bleeding like aspirin.

My Parotidectomy is scheduled for July 28. I have two questions. Does that surgery leave one's face completely altered? I would think removing a big gland like that would leave a gap. I have a thin face as it is because I only weigh 116lbs.

Also, would they do reconstructive surgery? Would they do it that day or another time? Maybe plastic surgery? Will the two sides of my face be uneven? Vanity is a major character flaw of mine.

I know that they can't stage it until the full histology, whether it's cancer or not so I know as much as I did four weeks ago. It's been a challenge.

Thank you for your time assistance.
Posted Mon, 4 Aug 2014 in Lump
Answered by Dr. Ashish Verma 17 hours later
Brief Answer:
see below

Detailed Answer:

Sorry for the delayed reply. Just now got your question, due to same technical error as before.

Coming straight to your questions:

1- Its highly unlikely that surgery will leave your face completely altered. As at present there is no clear evidence of facial nerve involvement, so that should be preserved well during the surgery. And as told before, that even if it gets damaged then also, nerve grafts can be placed to mininize the damage.

2- about the empty space after surgery - that also should not be a problem as in immediate postoperative period, there will be oedema for a few weeks and by that time the histopathology report will also come.

No plastic surgery will be possible till the report comes as that might interfare with further treatment if it turns out to be a cancer with positive surgical margins.

Plastic surgery need will be evaluated only after 6-8 weeks of surgery, as that time is needed for inflammation to settel down completely, to allow good results for any reconstructive procedure, if needed.

Hope i have been helpful.

Dr. Ashish Verma
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