Parotid gland tumours account for 80% of all salivary gland neoplasms, 20% of these are malignant, but in daily clinical practice most parotid masses are operated on before obtaining the final histological diagnosis. This clinical setting further complicates the critical point of parotid surgery, which is the management of the facial nerve. In the present study, data were evaluated referring to 540 patients who underwent parotidectomy for a mass which was discovered to be a benign (470 cases) or a malignant (70 cases) neoplasm, between November 1994 and December 2007, at our Institution. The most significant single parameter in this series of malignancies regarding disease specific survival was the clinical involvement of the facial nerve at diagnosis (p = 0.006). Also for this reason, as there is no evidence that liberal VIIth nerve sacrifice improves prognosis, when it is not clinically involved, every attempt is made to dissect and preserve it. At present, the most complicated situation concerning nerve preservation may be, on the other hand, recurrence of a benign tumour, in particular pleomorphic adenoma, which, in our series, has a higher incidence (8.3%) of permanent facial dysfunction, than surgery with nerve preservation for malignancy (3.7%).
Clinical approach and treatment of benign and malignant parotid masses, personal experience / Bussu, F.; Parrilla, C.; Rizzo, D.; Almadori, G.; Paludetti, G.; Galli, J.. - In: ACTA OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGICA ITALICA. - ISSN 0392-100X. - 31:3(2011), pp. 135-143.