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Department of Otolaryngology Health-Related Library

Preoperative Information on Parotidectomy Surgery

The parotid gland is one of the major salivary glands which supplies the mouth with saliva. Saliva is a substance that aids in the initial digestion by moistening and lubricating food and permits comfortable swallowing after food has been chewed. A lump in the area around the front of an ear that appeared slowly and very likely painlessly was perhaps one of your first signs or symptoms. Another symptom could have been partial facial paralysis or a weakness on the side of the mass. The surgery you are having is called a Parotidectomy, which means a removal of part or all of one of your parotid glands.

You must have a health history and physical done within 30 days prior to your surgery, as well as necessary laboratory work. The clinic will inform you of what laboratory tests are needed. Please make an appointment with your family physician to have your physical and laboratory work done. Bring the results of your history and physical, lab work, (chest x-ray, EKG, if necessary) to the hospital the morning of your surgery. We encourage you to take a shower and wash your hair the evening before your surgery. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SURGERY. If you are taking medications, please inform your ENT doctor as he will inform you if you should take them the morning before your surgery.

You must arrive at hospital admissions by 6:00 a.m. on the morning of your surgery. You will then be taken up to your room. Before your surgery, a doctor from anesthesia will see you to talk about your anesthesia and to ask you about your health history. After you are taken into surgery, your family may wait for you in the surgical waiting lounge. There will be a hospital volunteer there to assist them if they have any questions. The doctors will speak with them in the surgery waiting lounge when your surgery is done. After your surgery, you will go to the recovery room to wake up and then after you are more awake, you will return to your room.

Expect to have an I.V. in when you return from surgery. Also, you will have a drain in the surgical area. This helps to drain fluids/blood from the surgical area as well as promoting healing from the inside out. The drain is usually in place for two to three days and is removed before your discharge. Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be monitored frequently. Your diet will consist of liquids and soft foods at first because of discomfort chewing more solid foods. This discomfort is normal and will lessen with time. You will have sutures along your incision line which the nurses will clean. The nurses will show you how to care for your sutures when you go home. The usual length of hospital stay is two to three days.

Discharge Instructions

  1. Notify your doctor of fever greater than 100 degrees, excessive pain, excessive drainage from your suture line, pus, drainage, or drainage that has an odor.
  2. Notify your doctor if your incision does not seem to be healing or if there is swelling in that area.
  3. To contact a doctor, call 626-3000 for the resident on call, Station 6B at 626-3062, or the ENT Clinic at 626-5900.