The parotidectomy mini-incision is a procedure to remove a parotid tumor with a small incision, allowing patients to recover more quickly.
Dr. Osborne and Dr. Hamilton ask the question:
Why does a parotid incision need to be so large? Their conclusion: It doesn’t!
The facial nerve is only a few millimeters wide and is the most important structure to identify when performing parotid surgery. Incisions that extend up to the hair line and far down into the neck do nothing to improve exposure of the nerve. Long incisions simply add increased swelling, cause slower healing, and increase the risk of scarring. We perform a safer surgery through a smaller incision. There is no substitute for experience. We simply do more surgeries than the rest.
My doctor told me a smaller incision increases recurrence is this true?
No. The only risk for increased recurrence is doing a smaller operation called an enucleation. These operations remove only the tumor and do not remove the superficial parotid gland. The tumor is essentially cored out potentially leaving unseen microscopic tumor particles behind in the surrounding superficial parotid gland. Throughout the history of parotid surgery, enucleation has been thought to be associated with increased rates of recurrence of parotid tumors. We do not perform enucleation.
We perform a superficial parotidectomy through a smaller incision.
Why does every other surgeon make a large incision?
Inexperience. The average surgeon performs 0-4 parotid surgeries a year. We perform 3-4 surgeries a week. The facial nerve is located using anatomical landmarks in the neck and face. The less experience a surgeon has the more landmarks they need which means a bigger incision.
Isn’t the facelift incision a smaller incision than the standard incision?
No. It is potentially longer. All other surgeons use a longer incision.
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