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Parotidectomy (say "puh-rawt-ih-DEK-tuh-mee") is the removal of the parotid glands, located below the ears. They make saliva, which enters the mouth through a tube (duct) near the back teeth. Most tumours that grow in the parotid glands are benign, which means they aren't cancer.
You may leave the hospital with stitches in the cut (incision) the doctor made. Your doctor will tell you if you need to come back to have these removed. You may still have a tube called a drain in your neck. Your doctor will take this out a few days after your surgery.
You may have some trouble chewing and swallowing for several days after you go home. You may have numbness in your earlobe and weakness in your face. For most people, these problems get better within 3 to 4 months. But it can take as long as a year. In some cases, problems with facial movement are permanent.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 15, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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