Parotid gland tumours. Our experience and a review of the literature

Chir Ital. 2003 Nov-Dec;55(6):857-64.


In this study the authors examine the experience of their department in treating parotid tumours, evaluating in particular the various surgical techniques as a function of the prognosis and the incidence of relapses. Between 1 January 1970 and 31 December 2002, 336 patients with parotid tumour were observed in the Department of Surgical Sciences of "La Sapienza" University in Rome. Two hundred and thirty-nine patients with benign tumours and 65 with malignant tumours were analysed. As far as histological forms were concerned, the benign forms presented a prevalence of pleomorphic adenomas (55.2%) and of Warthin's tumours (36.4%). In the case of malignant tumours, the highest incidence was found for mucoepidermoid carcinomas (29.3%). In the case of benign neoplasms, the surgical strategy opted for was preneural parotidectomy performed in 148 cases (61.9%). Relapsing pleomorphic adenomas were observed in 11.65% of patients controlled, and relapsing Warthin's tumours in 8.7%. In malignant tumours, total parotidectomy was performed in principle, with possible enlargement modulated as a function of tumour stage; owing to causes related to the neoplasm, 18 patients (38.3%) died. In the treatment of benign parotid tumours, preneural parotidectomy is the preferred surgical strategy as it significantly reduces the relapse rate and, when performed by skilled surgeons, is characterized by a complication rate comparable to that of conservative surgery. In the treatment of malignant tumours, total parotidectomy is the basic procedure; extension of the action and the use of ancillary techniques are dependent on tumour stage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parotid Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prognosis