In designing an operation for the removal of benign tumors of the parotid gland, two important facts must be noted. First, although over 75% of parotid tumors are benign, the vast majority of these benign tumors are mixed tumors (pleomorphic adenomas) . Simple enucleation of a mixed tumor is followed by a high recurrence rate. Often the recurrent mixed tumor will become malignant. Consequently, a wide margin of normal salivary gland must be excised around the benign mixed tumor. Second, although the parotid gland is not anatomically a truly bilobed structure, for purposes of surgical anatomy it may be considered to have a superficial and deep lobe with the branches of the facial nerve passing between these two structures. Consequently, it is feasible to excise the superficial lobe with preservation of the branches of the facial nerve. This dissection will be indicated for most patients who have mixed tumors of the parotid gland. A few mixed tumors will arise in the deep lobe of the gland.
KeywordsFacial Nerve Parotid Gland Pleomorphic Adenoma External Auditory Canal Mixed Tumor
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