What Are Parotid Glands?
The word parotid is derived from ‘paraotic’ which means ‘beside or around the ear’. The two parotid glands are the largest among all salivary glands, located on either side of the mouth near the ear. These glands secrete saliva (channelled into the mouth through parotid duct) to keep the mouth and digestive system moist, lubricate the food passage, and break down carbohydrates.
How Do Parotid Gland Tumours Begin?
Parotid tumours (or neoplasms) in 80% of the cases are benign and malignant in the remaining 20%. These are caused by a number of factors like lymphatic malformations, workplace exposures to chemicals and radiations, HIV, weak immunity and metastasis. The practicing parotid surgeon Professor Stan Sidhu suggests that while benign parotid tumours are found in men and women above 40 years, their malignant form is usually diagnosed in women above 60.
What Is Parotidectomy?
Parotidectomy is the surgical procedure performed by a parotid surgeon to partially or fully remove the parotid glands. Superficial parotidectomy is performed to remove just the lobe if the cancer is present just in the outer area of the glands. Total parotidectomy is required when the cancer spreads to the inner tissues and the entire gland must be removed.