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Risk facial palsy after parotidectomy performed by ENT and non-ENT surgeons

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.otohns.2004.06.577
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Objectives: To assess the difference in incidence and duration of facial nerve palsy following parotidectomy comparing ENT and non-ENT surgeons. Methods: Retrospective case note review of patients undergoing parotidectomy in a UK district general hospital between January 1993 and November 2000. Patients with malignant histology or those undergoing revision surgeries were excluded. Results: A total of 178 patients underwent total or partial parotidectomy in the study period; 137 patients met the inclusion criteria. Ninety-three (68%) had surgery performed by ENT surgeons and 44 (32%) by non-ENT surgeons (general surgeons and maxillofacial surgeons). In the ENT operated group, 52 (56%) had temporary postoperative facial nerve palsy; 2 (2%) had permanent facial palsy in one or more divisions; 39 (42%) had intact facial nerve function postoperatively. In the non-ENT group, 25 (57%) had temporary facial palsy; 3 (7%) suffered permanent facial palsy in one or more divisions; 16 (36%) had intact facial nerve function postoperatively. These differences were not statistically significant ( P = 0.43, Fischer’s Exact test). In addition, the mean duration of temporary facial palsy (18 weeks in the ENT operated group and 26 weeks in the non-ENT operated group) and incidence of other postoperative complications (hematoma, neuroma, Frey’s syndrome, and salivary fistula) were also not statistically significant. Conclusion: There was no significant difference in the observed rate of postoperative facial nerve palsy and other known complications following parotid surgery performed by ENT and non-ENT surgeons in our series.

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