The parotid gland is a key pathway for the facial nerve and can have a significant role in facial nerve disorders.
What is the Parotid Gland?
The parotid gland is an important salivary gland in the body because it is a key pathway for the facial nerve. It also can have a significant role in facial nerve disorders.
The parotid gland pumps saliva through the Stensen’s duct, into the mouth, which helps keep the mouth wet and alleviates swallowing problems. Infections, trauma and tumors can potentially cause facial nerve problems.
What Causes Parotid Gland Problems?
The most common causes of facial nerve disorders as a result of the parotid gland is tumors (pleomorphic adenoma), malignancy (adenoid cystic carcinoma, adenocarcinoma), trauma, and infectious process. Even though the mumps have all been eliminated with routine vaccinations, this viral infection will give you an idea of how serious an infection of the Parotid gland can be.
Parotid tumors are typically benign and can be treated with surgery. The most common parotid tumor is pleomorphic adenoma which usually presents with a pain-less lump at the jaw line in front of the ear. Other tumors are typically more concerning and can be malignant such as adenoid cystic carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Staphylococcus (Staph infections) aureus is the most common reason the Parotid gland becomes infected and usually if can be contained with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Bacteria that create tuberculosis are another factor that can cause Parotid infections. Another bacteria, which causes “Acute suppurative parotitis” is also a painful and similar infection. These can usually be treated by drugs.
Diabetes, bulimia and alcoholism may cause enlarged parotid glands but usually these are not painful and there is a small group of AIDS victims that have experienced parotitis.
Any blockage to the parotid duct such as a tumor, mucous plug, salivary stone is usually the cause of painful and deadly parotiditis. Calcium is what forms salivary stones. Usually they can be detected by X-ray about 80% of the time.
Chronic inflammation of the parotid gland may be caused by Sjogren’s syndrome. This is caused by an autoimmune disease and can be a serious problem. There is no known cause for Sjogren’s syndrome at this time. Dryness in the eyes, nose, skin and mouth in the facial area along with swelling is an indication of Sjogren’s syndrome.
Where is the Parotid Gland Located?
The parotid gland sits under the skin, and wraps around the back of the jaw at the mandibular ramus. The gland sits in an area which is anterior to the ear. This gland is palpated bilaterally and there is one on each side of the head behind the ear. The facial nerve, although it does not control the gland, it runs through it.
Before and After Parotidectomy Treatment
Facial Nerve Preservation During A Parotidectomy
Partoid Gland Treatment
At The Facial Paralysis Institute, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh and Dr. Babak Larian use a multi-specialty approach to address parotid tumors. Dr. Larian is a renowned head and neck surgeon and currently serves as the Clinical Chief of the Division of Otolaryngology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He uses a minimally invasive and cutting-edge technique to safely remove the tumor with the highest rate of facial nerve preservation. Dr. Azizzadeh, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, helps to plan the surgical incision and reconstruction of the region so that a scar-free and dent-free results can be obtained. Furthermore, given Dr. Azizzadeh’s facial nerve expertise, the rate of facial nerve preservation and outcome is safely guarded.
How to Prepare for a Parotidectomy
Dr. Azizzadeh provides instructions to help a patient prepare for parotidectomy surgery. He generally recommends patients do not eat or drink anything any time after midnight prior to surgery. Also, patients should disclose any medications they take to Dr. Azizzadeh before treatment.
On the day of a parotidectomy, a patient may need to arrive at least a few hours before the procedure. The Facial Paralysis Institute team will verify a patient’s medical information and ensure he or she is good to go for treatment. Dr. Azizzadeh will meet with a patient to discuss any last-minute concerns before surgery, too.
What to Expect During a Parotidectomy Surgery
Parotidectomy surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia at an outpatient surgery center. Dr. Azizzadeh makes an incision in front of the ear; this incision extends into a natural crease behind the ear and along the hairline and results in a barely visible scar.
What to Expect Following Surgery
Most patients can return home the same day of a parotidectomy. Patients can typically eat or drink shortly after surgery. They may be provided with pain medication after treatment as well. Patients always tell us they are amazed at how good they feel within 24 hours of surgery.
Dr. Azizzadeh monitors a patient’s recovery. He requests a follow-up appointment to remove any drains or tubes following a parotidectomy. Dr. Azizzadeh also tracks a patient’s progress to minimize the risk of infection and other side effects following treatment.
Why Choose The Facial Paralysis Institute for Parotidectomy Surgery?
When it comes to a parotidectomy, there is no need to take any risks. By working with Dr. Azizzadeh and The Facial Paralysis Institute team, surgery patients can receive expert support at all times.
Dr. Azizzadeh is a world-renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He is dual-certified and Harvard-trained plus, Dr. Azizzadeh takes a holistic approach to patient care. He tailors a parotidectomy surgery to his patient, and in doing so, helps each patients achieve the best results.
Schedule a Parotidectomy Consultation Today
A parotidectomy is a safe, effective procedure that has been shown to help patients address a wide range of parotid gland problems. With support from Dr. Larian and Dr. Azizzadeh, patients can undergo a parotidectomy to alleviate assorted parotid gland problems both now and in the future. Please call us anytime for a free consultation on how we may be able to treat your condition. The Facial Paralysis Institute is one of the most advanced centers of its kind in the world dealing with such problems.
If you are actively considering parotidectomy, schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills facial paralysis expert Dr. Azizzadeh by calling (310) 657-2203 today!
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