Impact of extent of parotid resection on postoperative wound complications: A prospective study

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Sialocele and salivary fistula are common complications after parotidectomy. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether extent of parotidectomy influences the incidence of these complications.


We conducted a prospective study of 66 consecutive parotidectomies. Cases undergoing skin or bone resection or flap reconstruction were excluded. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on extent of surgery: group 1 (extracapsular dissection or partial superficial parotidectomy); and group 2 (superficial parotidectomy or more extensive resection). The incidence of postoperative sialocele, salivary fistula, and facial weakness was studied.


Eleven patients (16.7%) developed a sialocele, and 4 (6.1%) developed a salivary fistula. Group 1 had a significantly higher incidence of wound complications (p = .008), but a significantly lower incidence of facial weakness (p = .004).


Less extensive parotid resection seems to be associated with a higher incidence of postoperative sialocele and salivary fistula, but is also associated with less postoperative facial nerve dysfunction. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck37: 64–68, 2015

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