Parotid glands are salivary glands which are situated in the area in front of ear . It produces saliva to keep our mouth wet , if you see or think about delicious food it starts producing saliva and opens in the mouth via a duct, adjacent to upper 2 molar tooth or upper 2 nd last tooth.
Parotid gland can get affected by tumor’s or lump which in 80% times is not cancerous most common of which is Pleomorphic adenoma. They will usually been seen as swelling which keeps on growing with time slowly and will usually not cause any pain. If there is pain or recently it has rapidly increased in size suggests cancerous conversion. To diagnose it one needle test is done called FNAC by which it is confirmed that swelling is cancerous or not cancerous. Surgeon will require CT scan or MRI for looking inside the nature of lump and likely any extension.
Surgery is challenging as there is nerve called Facial nerve which runs deep to the tumor so this nerve and its branches needs to be preserved. This nerve controls the facial expressions . Its damage during surgery leads to inability to close the eyelid and deviation or mouth to while smiling. Surgery is the only successful way by which it can be removed . Surgeon’s experience and use of adjunctive instruments like nerve stimulator to help in identifying the finer branches with large tumours. In good hands facial nerve is preserved with full function most of the times if temporary weakness of the nerve occurs it usually recovers within 6 months.