The Effectiveness of Sternocleidomastoid Flap Versus Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System Flap for the Prevention of Frey Syndrome and Facial Depressed Deformity in Parotid Surgery for Pleomorphic Adenoma

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The purpose of this study was to compare 2 types of reconstruction techniques: sternocleidomastoid (SCM) flap and superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) flap after partial parotidectomy (PP) for preventing Frey syndrome (FS) and concave facial depressed deformity. A total of 99 patients underwent PP for pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland. The patients were divided in 2 groups according to the dimension of the tumor: tumors less than 3 cm (group A, 47 patients) and tumors greater than or equal to 3 cm (group B, 52 patients). The patients in the 2 groups were assigned to 3 subgroups: PP without reconstruction (subgroup 1), PP and reconstruction with SMAS flap (subgroup 2), PP, and reconstruction with SCM flap (subgroup 3). In group A, the results of FS subjective symptoms, positivity of Minor starch test, and the median score of cosmetic results assessed with Visual Analogue Scale were as follows: in subgroup 1: 20%, 35%, 6; in subgroup 2: 13.3%, 13,3%, 8; in subgroup 3: 0%, 8.3%, 9. In patients of group B, the results were as follows: 60%, 73.3%, 3 in subgroup 1; 28.5%, 35.7%, 5 in subgroup 2; and 8.6%, 8.6%, 8 in subgroup 3. The study demonstrates a statistical difference (P < 0.05) both for subjective symptoms and for objective symptoms of FS when comparing the subgroup of SCM flap with the subgroup of PP without reconstruction for tumors greater than 3 cm. In tumors less than 3 cm, although there is an improvement of symptoms using SMAS or SCM, there is no statistical significance. The SCM is able to reduce the risk of the onset of both objective and subjective symptoms, whereas SMAS flap has a protective effect only in objective symptoms. The cosmetic results in this study were statistically significant both with SMAS and SCM but when comparing SCM versus SMAS the best results were for SCM.

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