Published: 2019-12-23

Factors associated with facial nerve palsy in patients undergoing superficial parotidectomy for pleiomorphic adenoma: our experience of eight and half years

Dheer S. Kalwaniya, Goutam Kothathi Chowdegowda, Monish Raj, Jaspreet S. Bajwa, Satya V. Arya, Ranjith Mahadevan, Rohit Choudhary, Ashok Kumar, Nipun Singla


Background: The pleomorphic adenoma comprises 45-60% of all salivary gland tumors most often in parotid gland up to 80%. The association between the facial nerve and the gland is responsible for most of the technical difficulties and complications of the surgical approaches.

Methods: This is a retrospective observational study performed in a unit of General Surgery, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi from May 2011 to October 2019 of all patients who underwent superficial parotidectomy for pleomorphic adenoma of parotid gland. The data was tabulated and results made using SPSS 21.0 system.  

Results: Male:female ratios are 29:33. Average age was 47.1 years (31-61). Average duration of disease was 2.2 years (0.3-5). 4 were operated for recurrence. Facial paresis occurred in 7 out of 62 patients (11.3%), 4 females and 3 males. 11 patients have tumor greater than 4 cm, out of these 11 patients 2 patients had pre-op facial paresis. Out of 51 patients (size <4 cm), 2 suffered facial paresis and out of 11 patients (size >4 cm), 5 suffered same. Out of 59 patients with depth of tumor <2 cm, 4 patients had post-op facial paresis. All the three patients having tumor depth >2 cm suffered post op facial paresis. Patients with pre-op facial nerve paresis had mean duration of tumor 3.35 year (±0.92) while with post-op facial nerve paresis had mean duration of tumor 2.99 year (±1.35).

Conclusions: Meticulous separation of facial nerve from parotid tissue is key to preservation of the facial nerve. But factors like size of tumor, depth of invasion, previous surgery do affect the outcome in parotid surgery.


Pleiomorphic adenoma, Superficial parotidectomy, Facial nerve injury

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