The parotid gland is the largest salivary gland in the human body, and unfortunately for some, it can become afflicted with various diseases and disorders resulting in its necessary removal. La Peer Health Systems is home to the best Ear, Nose, & Throat doctors in Los Angeles. Our surgeons specialize in the removal of the parotid gland as well as other forms of salivary gland surgery.
WHAT IS SALIVARY GLAND SURGERY?
Salivary gland surgery usually results in the full or partial removal of a patient’s parotid gland. This can occur for a number of reasons. Most commonly, tumors (benign and malignant) are to blame, though an occasional serious infection or blocked saliva gland can also require surgery.
A parotidectomy is classified as the removal of the parotid gland and does require general anesthesia. If the patient is having their parotid gland removed due to a malignant tumor, it’s common for the entire gland to be removed. Because facial nerves pass through the parotid gland, your ENT will use a nerve stimulator to monitor the nerves during the entire process, allowing the correct incisions and clippings to be made without permanent damage.
This type of salivary gland surgery is most often performed for disorders including stones, tumors, and serious infections. The incision for surgery is usually made two inches below the lower jaw to allow the surgeon access for easy removal. This type of surgery also requires your surgeon to be aware of the facial nerves lying close to the gland, as they make sure to distance the nerves from the gland during the entire process.
REASONS FOR UNDERGOING SURGERY
A patient may choose to undergo salivary gland surgery for a number of reasons, though it is most commonly to protect their health. The following types of disorders can sometimes warrant the removal or partial removal of the parotid gland:
- Salivary Gland Cancer
- Blocked Saliva Gland
If you suffer from any of the disorders listed above, removal of your parotid gland may be the best option for you. An ENT in Los Angeles can better help you understand and make the correct choices necessary to aid in a quick and speedy recovery, allowing you to finally but your medical issues behind you.
The risks associated with parotidectomy are small, affecting only a miniscule number of patients. Because the parotid gland has facial nerves running through it that are responsible for closing our eyes, wrinkling the nose, and moving our lips, it’s possible to experience some difficulty performing these activities during the recovery process. If patients experience this, their ENT can assist them with rehabilitation as they continue the healing process, allowing them to regain nerve function to the area.
RECOVERY AFTER PAROTIDECTOMY
In the days and weeks following a patient’s parotidectomy, it’s very common to feel weak sensations in the face and facial muscles as well as numbness near the incision site. In certain cases, excessive sweating can occur due to the fact that the nerves linked to saliva production in the parotid gland were disturbed during removal. As your recovery process continues, it’s likely that any troubles you’re experiencing will begin to fade. It’s also important to remember to follow the correct post-op care provided by your ENT.
CONTACT AN EXPERT ENT IN LOS ANGELES TODAY
To better understand if you’re a good candidate to undergo parotid or salivary gland surgery, contact an experienced ENT in Los Angeles from La Peer Health Systems today to schedule your initial consult. Our doctor’s are ready to provide you with the best care possible and will always keep the best interest of our patients at heart. If you’d like to learn more about the various surgical options for treating parotid and salivary gland ailments, contact La Peer Health Systems today.
If you are interested in learning more about salivary gland surgery at La Peer, please visit the Salivary Stone Center of Excellence website.
Next, read about Image Guided Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.