How Long Will I Be Off Work After A Parotidectomy & Where Do They Metastasize To? FAQ’s On Surgery

You will have color changes in your skin post-surgery which will turn normal in the following weeks. Individuals can resume their routine and return to work after 10-14 days.1

Depending on the location and size of the size, the recovery time may differ, for minor surgeries, although you may feel tired but will soon regain your energy and return to work within a couple of days2.

Distant metastases will occur in 20 percent of patients and the lung is the typical metastatic site.3, 4

How Long Will I Be Off Work After A Parotidectomy?

Parotid glands are responsible for about ten percent of saliva in our mouth when we are not eating or at rest. When there is a dysfunction, the patients will experience symptoms such as dry mouth, drooling, swelling, and pain. Parotidectomy is the removal of parotid glands below the ears.1

After the surgery, you may leave the hospital with stitches. You will have color changes in your skin post-surgery which will turn normal in the following weeks. Individuals can resume their routine and return to work after 10-14 days.

Depending on the location and size of the size, the recovery time may differ, for minor surgeries, although you may feel tired but will soon regain your energy and return to work within a couple of days2.

Where Do They Metastasize To?

Distant metastases will occur in 20 percent of patients and the lung is the typical metastatic site. The potential predictor of distant metastases are men who have high-grade pathology and positive nodal disease.

Generally, 80% of salivary gland tumors develop in the parotid gland, and mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common type of salivary gland tumor. Neck dissection is regarded as an integral part of the surgical approach when postoperative radiation therapy doesn’t bring productive outcomes.

Medical studies demonstrate the most common sites of distant metastasize are lungs, bones, and distant lymph nodes. Even the brain, kidney, and pancreas have an increased risk of getting affected by this condition.3, 4

Parotidectomy is the surgical procedure for the removal of the parotid gland performed by a head and neck surgeon. The parotid gland comprises of the superficial lobe and deep lobe, depending on the location of the lobe surgery is performed.

When only the superficial lobe is affected with cancer, the surgery performed is called superficial parotidectomy however when the abnormal growth in the deep lobe or both the lobes, the surgery is called total parotidectomy.

FAQ’s On Parotidectomy Surgery

Q. What Is The General Timeline Guide And Who Will Provide Post-Operative Instructions?

A. After surgery, you will stay in the recovery room for a couple of hours and your healthcare provider/nurse will advise you and your family on the guidelines to be followed post-surgery.

Q. What Is The Recovery Time After Surgery And Do The Patients Have Symptoms After Surgery?

A. You may leave the hospital with stitches in the incision, but still, patients will experience numbness and weakness in the facial muscles. Difficulties in swallowing and ear pain will also persist. However, after 3-4 months patients completely recover from all the symptoms.

What To Expect During Your Recovery?

Surgery is very precise to treat parotid gland tumors, but you may experience facial changes after your surgery. Weakness in the facial muscles and numbness of the ear lobe is unpreventable.

References:

  1. “Parotidectomy After Care & General Timeline Guide: Dr. Larian.” Parotidectomy After Care & General Timeline Guide | Dr. Larian, www.parotidsurgerymd.com/education/articles/instructions-for-parotid-surgery/.
  2. “Parotid Surgery Recovery & After Care: What You Need to Know.” Parotid Tumor Surgery | Salivary Gland Surgery Los Angeles CA, 21 Apr. 2020, www.parotid.net/surgery-after-care/.
  3. Ali, Safina, et al. “Distant Metastases in Patients with Carcinoma of the Major Salivary Glands.” Annals of Surgical Oncology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976494/.
  4. Eberhard Stennert, MD. “High Incidence of Lymph Node Metastasis in Major Salivary Gland Cancer.” Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, American Medical Association, 1 July 2003, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/483891.

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