What is the Parotid Gland, a Parodectomy and How is it Diagnosed ?
The largest of all the salivary glands is the Parotid gland. This very important gland is central in the production of saliva which is needed to keep the mouth moist especially during meal time. The enzymes present in saliva also work as the first phase in our digestive process. Hence it’s presence is crucial. Located just in front of the ear and extending into the neck area the Parotid gland will only become diseased if a tumor is present. A parotidectomy is usually only prescribed in the presence of a benign or malignant tumor.
Early detection is key and your doctor will be able to diagnose whether or not you have a parotid tumor. Some of the symptoms of a problem may be:
- difficulty swallowing or difficulty in opening your mouth widely
- lack of feeling or numbness in the face or ear area
- fluid draining from the ear
The most common tumor found in this particular gland is called a Plenomorphic Adenoma also known as a benign mixed tumor. Though most of the tumors affecting this gland are benign, it may still be necessary to perform surgery to remove the tumor. Unfortunately what may have started as a benign tumor can become a malignant tumor if left untreated for a long duration.
If Surgery is Prescribed
A Parotidectomy boasts a high success rate and a short recovery period. Following surgery most patients are up and about that same day. After a surgery with no complications a patient can expect to have an overnight stay at the hospital. Commonly parotidectomy patients are back at work in just two weeks or less.
It is imperative to treat these tumors expeditiously since they may worsen and progress into more serious conditions or malignant tumors. Our caring staff will be more than happy to give you more information and put your mind at ease in learning if you are in need of a parotidectomy.
Dr. Camysha Wright is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. She is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and specializes in the evaluation and treatment of areas of concern affecting the ears, nose, and throat. For more information regarding tympanoplasty or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright, contact her office today at 954-368-8519.