Parotidectomy is the removal of the parotid gland, a salivary gland near the ear.


The parotid gland is the largest of the salivary glands. There are two parotid glands, one on each side of the face, just below and to the front of the ear. A duct through which saliva is secreted runs from each gland to the inside of the cheek.

The main purpose of parotidectomy is to remove abnormal growths (neoplasms) that occur in the parotid gland. Parotid gland neoplasms may be benign (approximately 80%) or malignant. Tumors may spread from other areas of the body, entering the parotid gland by way of the lymphatic system.


Benign parotid gland growths usually appear after the age of 40. Malignant growths most often affect women over the age of 60, while benign tumors affect both sexes equally. Cancer of the salivary glands accounts for only 1% of all cancers, and 7% of all head and neck cancers.


During surgery, two different areas of the parotid gland are identified: the superficial lobe and the deep lobe. Superficial parotidectomy removes just the superficial lobe, while total parotidectomy removes both lobes.

The patient is first placed under general anesthesia to ensure that no pain is experienced and that all muscles remain relaxed. An incision is made directly to the front or back of the ear and down the jaw line. The skin is folded back to expose the parotid gland. The various facial nerves are identified and protected during the surgery so as to avoid permanent facial paralysis or numbness. A superficial or total parotidectomy is then performed, depending on the type and location of the tumor. If the tumor has spread to involve the facial nerve, the operation is expanded to include parts of the bone behind the ear (mastoid) to remove as much tumor as possible. Before the incision is closed, a drain is inserted into the area to collect any leaking saliva, if a superficial parotidectomy was performed. The procedure typically takes from two to five hours to complete, depending on the extent of surgery and the skill of the surgeon.


A complete physical examination and medical history is performed, as are diagnostic tests to help the surgeon better plan for the surgery. Some tests that may be performed include computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and fine-needle aspiration biopsy (using a thin needle to withdraw fluid and cells from the growth).


After surgery, the patient will remain in the hospital for one to three days. The incision site will be watched closely for signs of infection and heavy bleeding (hemorrhage). The incision site should be kept clean and dry until it is completely healed. If the patient has difficulty smiling, winking, or drinking fluids, the physician should be contacted immediately. These are signs of facial nerve damage.


There are a number of complications that are associated with parotidectomy. Facial nerve paralysis after minor surgery should be minimal. After major surgery, a graft is attempted to restore nerve function to facial muscles. Salivary fistulas can occur when saliva collects in the incision site or drains through the incision. Recurrence of cancer is the single most important consideration for patients who have undergone parotidectomy. Long-term survival rates are largely dependent on the tumor type and the stage of tumor development at the time of the operation.

Other risks include hematoma (collection of blood under the skin) and infection. The most common long-term complication of parotidectomy is redness and sweating in the cheek, known as Frey's syndrome. Rarely, paralysis may extend throughout all the branches of the facial nervous system.

Normal results

Although some facial numbness or weakness is normal immediately following parotidectomy, these symptoms usually subside within a few months, with most patients regaining full function within one year. Return of a benign tumor is very rare.

Morbidity and mortality rates

There is a 25–50% risk of temporary facial weakness following parotidectomy, and a 1–2% risk of permanent weakness. Frey's syndrome may be experienced by up to 90% of patients to some extent and causes perspiration on that side of the face with eating. There is very little or no risk of mortality associated with the surgery. The survival rate of malignant parotid gland tumors depends on their size, location, extension, and if metastasis has occurred. The 10-year survival rate ranges from 32% to 83%.


A benign parotid neoplasm may be managed expectantly (i.e., adhering to a period of watchful waiting) so that the growth is of a larger size before it is removed (the risk of facial nerve damage increases with each subsequent parotidectomy). There is generally no alternative to surgical treatment of parotid gland neoplasms, although radiation therapy may be recommended after the procedure in the case of malignant tumors.



Califano, Joseph, and David W. Eisele. "Benign Salivary Gland Neoplasms." Otolaryngology Clinics of North America 32, no. 5 (October 1, 1999): 861–73.

Carlson, Grant W. "The Salivary Glands: Embryology, Anatomy, and Surgical Applications." Surgical Clinics of North America 80, no. 1 (February 1, 2000): 261–73.

Sinha, Uttam, and Matthew Ng. "Surgery of the Salivary Glands." Otolaryngology Clinics of North America 32, no. 5 (October 1, 1999): 887–906.


American Academy of Otolaryngology. One Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314-3357. (703) 836-4444. .


Gordon, Ashley D. "Parotid Tumors, Benign." eMedicine, December 27, 2001 [cited April 7, 2003] .

Johns, Michael M. "Salivary Gland Neoplasms." eMedicine, May 17, 2002 [cited April 7, 2003] .

Shelato, Dwight. The Patient's Forum on Tumors of the Parotid Gland, [cited April 7, 2003] .

Mary K. Fyke Stephanie Dionne Sherk


Parotidectomy is performed in a hospital operating room , usually by an otolaryngologist, a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of diseases that affect the ear, nose, throat, and other structures of the head and neck.


User Contributions:

mabel thomas
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mabel thomas
This information is very good and educative for students to understand.
I enjoyed reading it, and i hope you do as well
Hi! I enjoyed this information so much. It is helpful for me as a student. This is highly recommended for me. :) Thank you so much!
well this was very helpful becuz i go to a county hospital so they dont explain alot so all i knew was that i had a parotic mass and it was called pleomorphic adoma so it was very helpful to know what im going in too my surgery is in sep 3,2009 so thank you
Needing to communicate with anyone who has had this type of surgery and can tell a newbie what's it all about. You may email me at Thanks.
I had a parotidectomy approx 2 years ago. My facial nerve was cut and repaired. I have been getting some pain recently on the same sife of the face and trying to find out what to expect with nerve healing. How long does it take for the nerves to regenerate and what can be expected? The surgeon said that he repaired the area by mouth and cheek, but not the area by my left eye. Searching for info. online. Thanks, d
how long will the swelling last? i had this surgery in lubbock Texas, and its been since november 24 when i had the surgery and i have noticed that my face looks like some one hit me in the face, and i have alot of swelling from it which has cause me to have my ear hurting in the inside of the ear, and my face has become like a small baseball. what can i do to cause the swelling to go down so i can go to the gym without pain on my face.
hello! during the operation, what will be the patients assumed position? that was so informative.. thank you so much..
Can there possibly be any nerve damage from this parotidectomy surgery that would affect the esophagus and cause dysphagia?
Had a parotidectomy 12-20-10. Nerve was cut due to 3cm gland w/tumor inside. Ear,lip and side of face numb. Radiation recommended. No thanks. I'm healthy and active @ 83 years old. I don't need any more trauma. I thought radiation was touted as being so directive and pin point. Why
then do they take a shotgun appoach in such avulnerable area. They have no target so they're
going to shoot at everything. Not on my head!
Hello I recently had this surgery performed on 1-6-11 and I am not having any problems with my face other than what was exspected I have some numbness around ear lobe and little bit on side of face nothing terrible. But what I have that is annoying and causing me pain is my neck when I lay or sleep I have the worst pain in my neck ever. It feels like a kink or I have slept wrong, in which my sleeping position has not changed. Please help me with this just need assurance that it is not from this surgery? Thanks
I had this surgery 3 weeks ago in NY. Went home same day.
I had a 5 hour right parotidectomy to remove a Warthin's Tumor with no facial nerve damage whatever. Excellent surgeon!!! Some numbness of the cheek and numbness of the ear. I have gone 2 weeks and the seroma continues at 20cc to 30cc every 2 or 3 days. This is not mentioned in article and is a concern. Will this ever stop? What if it does not?
This information was very helpful. Doctors don't usually explain everything well, this article cleared up some questions.
i had a perotiddectomy in 2008 . i now find i have a problem with my neck that feels as if its swollen and the skin is tight on the side of my face and it feel like theres constant pressure.
and it makes me feel ill is this normal so long after this operation.
Dear Sir-
Is facial nerve injury an avoidable sequale of total parotidectomy or it could be spared?
What happens whtle taking out the JP TUBE. I had durgery 4 days ago and tube taken out tomorrow
Hi - I had surgery 6 days ago. I still having bruising and swelling but my right eye is not working correctly (will not blink, does not shut completely) and although I have drops and ointment for my eye, it still is red and sore. My face has some sensation but the muscles (which obviously means the nerves) aren't working. I've read it can take up to 3-6 months to get most of the function back but when can I expect some function to return? I cannot smile, raise my eyebrow, frown on that side of my face either. Any comments / advice would be much appreciated. Am I being too impatient by expecting to see a slight improvement each day? Kerry
Hello! I wanted to thank you for this webpage! Just had a superficial parotidectomy 2 days ago, and this really prepped me for the operation! I didn't recieve much information regarding the procedure from the ENT specialists I went to, so I'm glad to have stumbled upon this page. I have a follow up appointment next week, and while I will ask my doctor this same question, I wanted to post here first.

Is there any direct reason why benign tumors may grow in this area? I'm 19-years-old, and from what I've read and learned from the doctors involved in this case, it is very abnormal for someone at my age to have gotten one. Are there ways to prevent it in the future?
I have undergone a paradectomy and three times i have had to return to the hospital Twice to have it drained..I have a hematoma and was told they would keep scanning but they havnt since the day they found it ..It is very painful having these aspirations done daily Am i being treated right ?
I'm having this surgery on 10/26/11.I would like to know 1.How long does the swelling last. What should I expect other than pain and numbness.
I am 78 years old and had a left parotidectomy 08/22/11. At this point, most of the sensation, sagging, left eyelid not closing, outer ear ache, has just about gone. My left eye brow is still lower than my right when I try to lift both, my smile is almost even but I still show a few more teeth on the right when I smile. However, I noticed a slight blurriness in my left eye and I will have to check with the Dr. asap. Other than that, I seem to be doing oI hope this helps somebody. My surgery was done at a surgicenter and I left about an hour after it was done.
I had a superficial parotidectomy 9/14/10. After 12+ months, the pain in my upper shoulder have gone away. The right side of my neck is still somewaht stiff. Taking hot showers temporarily loosens up the muscles. The incision is halfway to my adam's apple but has lessoned over the past year. I still do not like to wear necktimes because it hurts. The doctor says that my nerve endings are reconnecting and should continue for another year or so. The swelling has finally gone down. Overall, I am excited about having the surgery and getting the cancer out. Radiation was tough but necessary for 90 days... especially when I lost my appetite. Wow! everything tasted metallic.. and I lived off of 3 cans of Ensure everyday. Try to keep a positive attitude, support from family and friends, and faith in God to get through it.
I am scheduled for this surgery in two weeks. I was very nervous at first, but these comments have helped a bit.
I will post a comment after the surgery.
Had total superficial and deep lobe parotid removal and parapharyngeal space tumor removed in 2008.
Surgery was 7-1/2 hours long. The head of the cancer center at a local university hospital performed surgery with no immediate side effects.

Within the last year developed Frey's Syndrome. Sweating at temple, cheek and ear whenever I eat anything. It's a real problem as my face and hair at temple is wet. Must constantly be wiping when I eat. Trying botox injections this week to see if it will suspend this sweating at least during the winter!
Ask your surgeon about this complication. It is pretty common.
good luck.
Yesterday I had a Parotidisectomy on the left side. Today my left ear lobe is numb and I cannot open my mouth wide. Will tis go away?
kristi b
I have had symptoms of facial weakness and eye lid not closing completely related to 5 and 7th cranial nerve. Many MRI's, spinal taps, steroids etc. None of the the doctors I visited could diagnose. Finally at Mayo CLinic I have just been diagnosed with a parotid tumor...I know nothing more yet. My first symptom was 23 months ago. I am frightened about the unknown. Good to read some of the words here.
I had a parotidectomy and mastoidectomy with neck dissection in 2006, I also underwent 6 wks of radiation therapy for acinic cell carcinoma. I am now having symptoms of dizziness, unsteadiness, headaches, numbness and tingling in the facial area... any suggestions on what's causing this...this ENT specialist don't think it's related, I will be seeing a neurologist shortly.
my mom is about to undergo parotidectomy in a few months. The information presented here is easy to understand, now, I feel less nervous about her operation because what will happen before and after the operation was well explained in this article. Thank you. Now, we know what to expect, and what to ask, what are the symptoms that we should watch out for. Thanks.
I had this done two days ago. Everything works fine, but I'm definitely disfigured now. Doc says my fat should fill in the dents in 6 months. I sure hope so. I look like I've been beaten with an ugly stick.
What should i do i am having parotidectomy 4/19/12
To anyone,

Is there anyway to see answers to questions presented on this page (computer beginner)...may need parotidectomy shortly. Is there any additional ways to understanding this procedure beside internet sites, dr. consultation, etc., that anyone has found helpful before making a decision to have this procedure done.

Had superficial parotidectomy 4 days ago. Very swollen under jaw line. No ear involvement. Only other symptom is that the lower left side of my lip is somewhat stiff or restricted making a wide smile tilt downward on the opposite side. My facial nerve was not touched as my face moves perfectly. Hope this goes away with time but will ask next week at post op appointment. My pretesting was both positive and false for cancer so don't know yet by ENT doc says pretty sure was benign. Don't believe I will have anything but radiation if the results are positive. This was outpatient surgery and has kind of laid me flat!
I had my Parotidectomy 8 days ago. There is still some swelling and redness in front of my left ear and at the incision sight. In two days my stitches come out. From everything I've read about this type of surgery, the healing process is slow. It is very painful to chew. Other than the things I've just mentioned, everything else is just as it was before surgery. I GIVE MY HEAVENLY FATHER ALL THE GLORY FOR HOW WELL I'VE COME THROUGH THIS. Anyone who would like to trade progress reports, I welcome, because I feel like I can learn alot, and I would also like to help others. One other thing I want to mention, is that it was benign.
I had partial parotidectomy on 16th of auguts 2012 I'm still slightly swallen ,eating cozing slight pain ,got stiff neck and numbness of ear , also I have a dimple on the operated area I. hope everything will back to normal soon.Discomfor when sleeping:(
Found out my benign tumor was epithelial carcinoma. Cancer came out clean; the capsule did not rupture. Now they want to go in and make a better margin. From the middle level of my ear to under my chin. My surgeon claimed radiation wouldn't work on this kind of cancer; he had read "up" on it. Also said I would have a divot in my neck. So did I read up on it and the prescribed treatment is surgery and then radiation. Getting a radiation oncologist's opinion on Friday. With a vaguely distorted smile and having to work for a living, I cannot imagine what my face would look like even if they were very careful about touching the nerve. Surgeon said might take a year to look right; really, I don't have a year as I support myself with no available help. What a deal!
Arshad mehmood
Hi I had a right side parotide tumour out at 11-09-12.I ve just swelling but no pain in the middle of my jaw,after two days they will takeout my I want to ask that can I get a shower because last 4 days I did not get a showerand how to do a shower , can I use soap or shampoo on the surgery side or need to cover that place.
Having the surgery in two weeks. Found this page very insightful. Will send feedback after surgery.
I had a parotidectomy (UK, Mount Vernon Hospital) when I was 16 (which I now realise is very unusual). I had surgery and developed severe Frey's syndrome, which was dealt with by a tissue graft from my scalp, about 4 years after the initial surgery. Recovery from this was worse than the initial op - having a pressure bandage on for the best part of a week was like having my head in a vice. However, it worked - although even now (aged 47!), I get the same sweating inside my ear!
Where I had the tissue graft, the surface of the skin on my cheek is now rather lumpy (and more hirsute that the other side), but I won't do anything about this - just live with it.
If Botox had been around at the time, this might bave been an option, but back in the dark ages, it wasn't. Hope this story might help those of you studying or expecting to have this surgery.

BTW - I had a recurrent benign growth in the original site when I was about 38 and had further surgery to remove this. I haven't had any further problems - so far!
Having operation in five days...didn't ask questions about swelling or bruising...any help knowing more about those would help...also found this website helpful.
I had this surgery on the 10 th of September I've had a little saliva leaking from under the ear 2 weeks after the surgery, but that was only for 2 days, other than that I'm very surprise how well I have healed and scar is hardly noticeable.
Forgot to mention an uncomfofortable nights sleep due to numbness off the ear lobe and part of my cheek/ jaw the feeling should return back in my cheek, but was told I might lose the feeling permanently in my ear lobe.
I had a one inch benign deep lobe parotid tumor removed in March 2010 at the age of 31.

The tumor literally appeared over the course of five days as a lump at the end of my jaw beside my ear.

I was terrified before hand as the consultant gave me no option and told me I had to have surgery, he enver discussed what it was with me and it took a lot of researchon the internet - including watching an operation on Youtube to make me comfortable with it.

I has the operation at Sunderland Hospital (UK) by an excellent plastic surgeon and it took four and a half hours - quite a lot of this was spent sewing me back up. He cut the length of my ear and then tucked up behind it another inch and got it out. I had to spend a night in hospital (there was no way I was spending two!)afterwards I was very groggy and when the medication wore off boy did I know about it!!

It now looks amazing.

Nearly three years on the only signs I have of the op and tumor are a small divit in front of my ear where the tumor was, a slight line along the length of my ear and then a more obvious scar behind my ear. The sticky out middle bit of my ear is also very hard and doesnt like to be pushed flat.

I still have oversensitation on that side of my face and cannot wear a full face crash helmet. Lying on that side is also painful after a while. Cold is also not a friend to my face and I have to avoid getting too cold and cover my face with a scarf.

If anyone wants to see photos of me post op (literally just after and over the course of a few days) please free to email me at
I just had a partial perodidectomy a week ago. I still feel a hard lump and am wondering if it the tumor was fully removed or is it just swollen. I know that it takes a fairly long time for the healing, but should there be a lump still there? I go to the doctor for post-op this afternoon. I hope he can ease my concerns. I just went to a regular ENT and now wondering if I should have gone to a doctor who specializes in doing only doing perodictomies.
Lalita Jagtoo
I am 37 and i had a partial parotidectomy done on the 26th September. The tumor was a slow growing one that i had over about 10 years. Finally decided to get the surgery done as i realized it was going to get rid on its own. it looked like the size of a golf ball under my ear. I got the surgery done in Trinidad by some really friendly and caring doctors, it was really a great experience for a first time surgery! and 2 days after i was able to go home, however I am beginning to feel a tingling sensation on the outer layer of the scar and slight pain, which I know is expected. The nerve connected to my ear was damaged though so I'm experiencing numbness on my right ear, however, everything else is fine so I'm thankful for that
I have a question, I've had two parotidectomys 1st one in 1992 right side, 2nd one
In 1999 left side. Now I have another lump on the
Left, is that possible I will need another one ? I
Don't remember the types I had, noticed the lump
A few years ago, but now it's starting to give more discomfort.
The sweating has been a lot to deal with but other
Than that I did well after each surgery.I was 40
The 1st time, I'm now 60.
I have a question, I've had two parotidectomys 1st one in 1992 right side, 2nd one
In 1999 left side. Now I have another lump on the
Left, is that possible I will need another one ? I
Don't remember the types I had, noticed the lump
A few years ago, but now it's starting to give more discomfort.
The sweating has been a lot to deal with but other
Than that I did well after each surgery.I was 40
The 1st time, I'm now 60.this site has been helpful, reading
What others have experience as well...thanks
Dave WI
Had superficial parotidectomy 6 days ago on left side. Had the tumor for about 25 years before it got large enough to be easily noticeable and it started to change shape (pseudo podia). The tumor was biopsied 8 years earlier as benign pleomorphic adenoma.

Surgery went great with no nerve damage and surprisingly no post operative pain (I'm told pain is common). Drain tube was removed after about 36 hours.

Still have some swelling and numbness in cheek, jaw and ear. Fortunately this has been getting better every day.
Dave WI - I am in WI and have recently been told I need a parotidectomy. It sounds like your surgery went well. Where did you have it done and who did it for you?
Gay Gentry
I had parotid gland removal surgery about 2 years ago. About a month ago I started experiencing pain in my left ear, jaw and behind my eye. This is the same side the surgery was performed. Anybody had a problem like this? It gets worse every day and I plan to make an appt with the Dr. Tomorrow.
Hi, I had an MRI in Nov 2011 and showed an enlarged salivary gland. Without any indication of something going on, I waited till the doctor recommended another MRI and was done on Nov 2012--- one year later. Radiologist and ENT surgeon sent a report of the ff:
2 x1.7 x .08 cm mass again noted posterior/anterior aspect of right parotid gland without change in size or signal characteristic., mildly enhances, no new adenopathy
Is identified. No significant change. Stable right parotid mass which may represent a lymph node.

I am recently feeling slight discomfort and pain and headache. Occasional pain and throbbing pain is felt in the upper right ear.

Do I need to have surgery soon? I've been reading this site for the last week and I need your recommendation on this. My daughter is getting martied in October and I am worried that I cannot help/assist her in the preparation, let alone the day of the event. PLS HELP ME! Thanks a lot!
I had a biopsy and CT scan and it revealed a 2cm on right side, and very small(not sure of size but radiologist and ENT said very hard to see) on left. Both are non cancerous Warthins tumors. I’m a yoga teacher, and also an alternative health enthusiast and I’m not psyched about the facial paralysis and everything else I’m seeing here as post surgical conditions. Has anyone here explored a “non cut” approach?

Is there one? Any info greatly appreciated. many thanks
I had my surgery on March 4 and experiencing sharp pains inside my ears, dotors said everything was fine, but it is now almost 30 days and still experience it. Any one else..
Dr said I have masses both sides ,could some one say how painful the post-op is on a scale of 1(starting) - 10 (unbearable)? I understand the recovery time is 3 weeks till 6 months.
Thanks in advance...
Had a total perotidectomy three weeks ago. I cry everyday from the pain. Is this normal? Went back to surgeon and he brought his therapy dog in and did not address my pain. Feels like a screwdriver in my ear and my neck hurts so bad.
I have a Warthin's tumor on the perotid gland, and have spent a year now attempting to avoid surgery. Am feeling like I may need it now. I'm curious if anyone HAS had luck dealing non-surgically? Also, where to look for competent, experienced (with this procedure) surgeons?
I am having a parotidectomy in a few weeks. I was just wondering if anyone had headaches that did not return after their surgery. I have terrible headaches that I am really hoping will go way after this tumor is removed. I am sure that the stress of not knowing if it is malignant or not is not helping the headache issue. Thanks in advance.
I am 8o yrs old and have been diagnosed with a tumor requiring a total parotidectomy,that is below my right ear. Because of my age and the possibility of side effects after the operation I am very reluctant to have the operation. If not operated on what is the prognosis for the tumor to develop into a cancer, and aprox what sort of time can be expected for it to fully develop and cause death. Being 80 yrs old I would like to live without all the possible complications of an operation.
Hi Judy, I had a pleomorphic adenoma removed two weeks ago, and found this site because I too have an inner earache and pain in my jaw/molars on the same side. Still don't have my results back yet, so I'm concerned that this might mean a possible malignancy.
A comment for Shelly Dobbins who asked about headaches stopping after surgery. YES, I suffered from terrible headaches at the base of my skull prior to having my surgery and they were completely gone following. That was in 1979. I regained full movement of facial muscles by doing exercises, but do have Frey's syndrome...sweating on left cheek...which I consider a minor irritation. Hope your surgery went well, Shelly.
I had a tumor removed from my parotid gland on 11/18/13. It was benign. Woohoo! I am having problems with my balance and just a over-all foggy feeling in my head. It is getting better everyday, but I haven't found much on the internet about this being a post-op problem. Has anyone else had this problem?
tim gillis
It has been 10 days since I had a warthins tumor removed. The swelling is still there. After I left the hospital they told me to put ice on the area. It did not help. Should I use heat? 10 days seems like a long time for the swelling to still be there.
I had one taken out 7 months ago in other side and swelling left after about 6 days.
tim gillis
It has been 10 days since I had a warthins tumor removed. The swelling is still there. After I left the hospital they told me to put ice on the area. It did not help. Should I use heat? 10 days seems like a long time for the swelling to still be there.
I had one taken out 7 months ago in other side and swelling left after about 6 days.
hi,I'm 31 aged male.I have right parotid tumor located just front of my ear.first I noticed it when I was in high school,it was very small lump like pea.wasn't painful or I let it be's already more than 12 years passed and now I become serious about it.still no pain at all but it became a little larger like small marbel.I went to a neurologist and after examine he said my nurves are completely ok.he ordered FNAC as he suspect the lump as day I got the report and its pleomorphic doctor refer me to a ENT specialist.the ENT doctor advice me a superficial parotidictomy. now,my questions are,how important a surgery is for benign tumors as its not doing any problem?what's the expected complication after surgery?what about recurrence as it has reduced cure rate?what if untreated?
felix pfaeffle
I am 85 years old living in Las Cruce, NM. Discovered 2 pea-sized nodes behind my left ear in May 2013. They did not bother me, so I paid no attention. In Early August I had my primary physician look at them. He sent me to a surgeon to have a biopsy done. WRONG MOVE! HE SHOULD HAVE SENT ME TO A ENT SPECIALIST. The "surgeon", instead of a fine needle biopsy, scheduled a surgigal biopsy under local anasthesia. On the operating table, the instant he inserted the anasthetic needle, I went through the roof with pain. He terminated the procedure and scheduled a new operation for a week later, this time under general anastesia. When I woke up I was in excruciating pain, which persisted round the clock. The pain went on up to the minute I had my surgery.
To make a long story short, I finally wised up and went to a ENT doctor who immediately arranged for parotid surgery in Albuquerque. In the meantime I had a PET scan which revealed the extent of the tumor on the salivary gland which was 29mm by 27mm in size as well as in another . On Nov. 25, 2013 I had my total paroditectomy which took 5 hours to remove all the neoplasm which was indicative of being malignant. In the process I lost the lower third of my left ear and the feeling in my left cheek and parts of my left lower lip. I also have a somewhat drooping left eyelid which makes it a lttle more difficult to read.
But I am entirely free of pain!
There is still a rather large crust of black epidermis in front of my left rear which should drop off in the next three weeks. I make another report later after I get a copy of the surgery report.
I had superficial Parotidectomy of benign Warthin's tumor on left side. Went home same day. Not a lot of pain or swelling but numb left ear and part of jaw. Had the surgery on 11/14/2013.
Now I wake up in the morning with tingling and slight numbness in BOTH sides of my face. It goes away as soon as I get up.
Has anyone else had both sides of face numb and tingly after the surgery?
kathy b
I am 50, female. My first gland removed at age in my 30's I guess. I had both removed the first one in Dec 95 and the second removed in the year 2012 in Sept. The one in 95 healed quite well, however this one in 2012, I'm still having issues with and it's Feb/2014. My dr assures me it's ok but it just doesn't feel right. I'm concerned of the thick "spit", if you will...I have very dry mouth.
I think your neoplasm was pleomorphic adenoma which has a reputation of recurrence and it happened to need to worry,believe your doctor.good luck.
Judy L.
I had a right Warthins tumor on the parotid gland removed 10 months ago. I have trouble with numbness of the ear and side of my face, it feels like a prostetic ear. I also get alot of pain in the ear and now my throat is sore on that side and feels like I have two small lumbs. Also if I touch my face it shoots electric like feelings down my face and jaw line to my ear. And if i touch my ear like when I am washing it it shoots to my face and down my jawline and neck.Feels like I am being electricuted and is painful. I would think I would be well healed by now. Does anyone else have anything like this?
I'm having a parotidectomy at the end of this month. How long in the hospital?
Joan, hospital is usually 1 night, sometimes 2 nights.

Also, to Judy L., I had a Warthins tumor removed from the parotid gland 11/14/2013 and I still have the same symptoms that you are describing: sort of like pins or electrical like feelings on my jaw and down my neck when I touch the area where my scar is located. My real problem is that I wake up in the mornings with numbness over my face slightly. (both sides of my face) It started happening when I still had the Warthins tumor in the gland. I am hoping it will clear up within a year, but I have read it can take slightly longer than a year sometimes. Also it is rare to have both sides of face get numb, so guess I am a rare case. I am sure yours will clear up over the next few months.
About a year ago I found a lump under left ear. It didn't hurt so I basically ignored it. I mentioned it to the Dr. during a visit and was referred to Ent specialist. She did a needle biopsy that came back as Warthins tumor, benign. After searching the internet and seeing how big it could get I decided to have the superficial parotidectomy on left side. Had surgery 5 days ago and it took about 6 hours. Afterwards I had bad nausea and balancing problem. Couldn't walk by myself without falling over. Both symptoms lasted into the night. Next day I still had a problem with balance but is going away mostly. So far the only complications I'm experiencing are moderate pain around left ear area and numbness of bottom half of left ear. Also having a lot of pain in jaw area an inside of my mouth when I eat. Hoping this will go away soon cause it makes it hard to get enough nutrition down before the pain becomes unbearable. Didn't want this converting to cancer so I had the surgery but still not convinced it was the right thing to do.
This site has been very helpful. I recently just had my second parotidectomy on the left side of my neck. Thankfully I had no facial paralysis this time but I'm experiencing a lot of swelling to where my vision is being affected. I don't remember this from my first parotidectomy. Also have a lot of pressure in my left ear, feels like died caked blood. Idk crewing a little concerned, had anybody else experienced this?
I am having a biopsy done on my right parotid gland this Friday 7/11/14 and will be having surgery to remove it probably in a months time. I've been doing a lot of research and know approx surgery duration 2 to 5 hrs, hospital stay 1 to 3 days and months for the numbness to go away. What I don't know is how long I will be out of work, when I can drive and resume my normal life. I know it depends on the individual but a round about approximation.
Update from 10 days ago. Been off work for 2 weeks now. Still feeling quite a bit of pain in left ear. Feels like a bad infection inside ear. Scar is smaller than I thought it would be. Get shooting pain in surgical area every time i bend over. Since I'm a carpenter decided it would be best to wait a few more days before trying to go back to work. Still experiencing pain in my jaw when I eat. Not as bad as it was so it's getting better. Certain foods feel like they go thru the mouth lining and into the back side of the surgical area. Asked dr about it and was told it's not out of what she would expect. Thinks it's the spices creating saliva and it gets the healing area. Told to avoid spicey food for a few days. Go for daily walks to avoid boredom and get my strength back. Oh and bottom half of ear is still numb. Told it may or may not come back. Only time will tell in a few months.
Hello I just had the parotid gland surgery 2 days ago and I am 46,I went home the same day, took about 3-4 hours. I still have some swelling, mine was behind my left ear but the swelling is now in my left jaw line. I don't really have pain of course I'm on some good meds, however I am anxious for the swelling to go down. Every person is different, obviously this is a common thing just from reading all of the threads, I say the best thing to do once you have it done is to rest good and just to take really good care of yourself and have someone police you to do that.Your health is the greatest asset you have. The scar will get better if you clean it at least 3 times a day with neosporin, cocoa butter & baby shampoo. Be blessed, live well beloveds.
Nametso Chief
I am soo scared i am having an appointment in 2 weeks to come.What should i expect?
My husband (43 years old )had the parotid gland surgery on 23 Jun 14.
4 days after surgery, he was suffered from saliva leak till now.
Current treatment are having bandage of pressure dressing for 24/7 and having medicine to reduce the saliva flow.
Saliva still leak through from wound even after 5 weeks surgery.
This is very annoyed and we feel worry now.
Hope can get some advice
Hello to all I just recently had my 2nd Parotidectomy on July 1st. My first one was last year July 16th worth some facial paralysis. Thankful this time I have none just some slight pain when I chew. If anyone has any questions or concerns about the surgery please feel free to send me an email. Wishing everyone a speedy recovery!!
Hi there I am having a superficial parotidectomy on September 6th, I am very anxious about it but it helps to read all your comments. Many thanks
Hi there, I had a superficial parotidectomy on 28/07/14. I had to stay in hospital two nights for my drain to clear but apart from that I found the whole operation alot less frightening than I expected. My scar incision went down my ear and then behind the ear and down neck but has been done in a way that it hardly shows. It is healing very nicely. I have bruising to the jaw and behind the ear and seem to have a hard lump which I think is just swelling, I will await to ask the consultant on my follow up as to what that is. Apart from that I do not have alot of pain but I do have a lopsided mouth which they say it is hoped will go within 6 months. I just feel thankful that the lump has been removed and I feel the operation went well. My droop and swelling at the moment I just feel is expected from the operation that this is. I would say to anyone who is due to have this op not to worry as it is not anywhere as bad as I had anticipated and I feel blessed at how well it has all gone and how quick I am healing. Good Luck to everyone who has had this op or is due to have this op.
Hi all. My "lump" under the left jawline just appeared one day about 18 months ago. My GP sent me for tests and then a fine needle biopsy was done about a year ago. By the next night the gland was swelling and I was in agony. In emerg antibiotics were prescribed. After two courses of those it subsided back to a plain lump again! Six months later another infection and more antibiotics. So I decided to go for surgery. I have now had a 3cm Warthin Tumor removed five weeks ago. Draining stopped by the next day and there is no facial nerve damage. My scar has healed well. Apart from numbness of ear lobe which is apparently normal, my biggest complaint is inner ear pain and a sensation of deafness. Even though there is no hearing loss the ear feels as if it is "plugged up". Both my GP and the ENT surgeon have had a look in my ear but say it looks normal and clear. As far as eating goes, I try to avoid chewing and sour taste foods as that seems to trigger more ear pain and discomfort under my jaw. I'm hopeful that most or all of this will improve with time, and pray that I don't get another one in future. Good luck to everyone.
Front lobe of my parotid gland removed Aug 1, 2014. I expect the numbness will subside over time with some permanent residual...expected. What causes me concern is that my left ear and lobe are twice the size as my other ear. Is this permanent?? I have no feeling in the entire left outer ear, which I can live with, but the deformity looks awful.
Amparo Beltran
Well my husband had this surgery 3 days ago, he's very strong and active guy even at his age, 67 , everything was great since the first night of the surgery, not malignant so we only stayed one night in the hospital, he had a keep the drainage for 4 days and something it worried us that numbness ear, but I read that's normal. So who ever going to have this surgery, don't feel panic or worry. I pray for everything going well for my husband and he's great, he has doctor appointment to remove the drainage. He since got out from hospital next day of the surgery he only used pain pills one time. Good luck to people need this surgery and God bless you. My advise ask about doctor history and do it. 😉
I'm having a parotidectomy in 3 weeks time. I am probably reading too much on this.
Can anyone tell me how they felt after surgery. How long is recovery.
I am currently having neck spasm but I wonder if this is all stress related as I have no pain in the site area of the tumour.
Which is a pleomorphic adeoma. I have had a FNA and have a MRI booked prior to surgery. It's all such a shock I'm 50 years of age.
had left parotidectomy 18th July 2014. everything went fine, was allowed up to go to toilet with 2 hours of being back on ward.went in 7.00am Monday out 7.00pm Tuesday except for partial numbness by ear i am fine. what i want to know is the swelling and bruising normal and how long will it last. Started taking stitches out on Friday and will return on Monday to have rest removed.i must be one of the luckier people as i felt well after op and since although i get more tired than usual but as im retired that doesn't matter. had bleeding on Wednesday morning 4.00am this was sorted by the district nurse who cleaned and applied butterfly stitch.
had pr-op at new queen Elizabeth hospital, Birmingham and operation at city hospital, Birmingham.all the staff were helpful and kind and nothing was too much trouble for them.
Having a parotiectomy on Sept 23, 2014. This forum helped me to ask questions to all involved. I will write on this blog asap after the surgery to tell you more of my experiences.
Hi I am a 30 yr old mother of 3 young boys and was told I have warthins tumour I had a biopsty done and thank god it's benign my operation is on Thursday nov 6 ... Ever since I found out about this tumour I have been very down and I'm really nervouse about the surgery .. I pray that everything will work out okay
My husband was diagnosed with a benign tumor on his salivary gland 2 weeks ago. A FNA was done and the ENT said it was benign. Surgery was scheduled for tomorrow. However, the ENT did tell my husband that he was retiring and my husband would be seen by the new surgeon the following week. This surgeon now says the results were inconclusive and sent him over for an ultrasound and new FNA at the hospital. He called today and the pathologist said he still can't pronounce the THREE tumors benign or malignant and we may know more tomorrow. I am so scared. Why is it so hard for them to say if it is benign or malignant? If benign, surgery. I malignant, immediate chemo. I am SO scared. The waiting is killing me.
We found my tumor in September of 2014, but the biopsy showed it was benign. However, when we had my follow-up CT scan this week, they discovered the tumor is changing, which is not a good size. It has been causing me pain in my ear and dizziness. So, we have elected to do surgery. My doctor reviewed most of the information shared on this site already. However, I had previously had a hard time finding actual statistics on nerve damage and Frey's syndrome. Grateful to find this information. I was unaware of the possibility of ear numbness, much less it often being permanent.

Janie, I think it is hard to be positive because they cannot guarantee the sample they tested is an accurate sample of the whole mass. My biopsy was negative, but my ENT said that it was only 90% that it was actually benign. I mean, those are great odds, but I didn't know it was 100% until yesterday. My surgery is scheduled for April 2, and I wish it was tomorrow just so I could be done with it. I agree- the waiting is hard.

Erin, I had this done in April of last year and other than my right ear being numb- my surgeon told me beforehand that any feeling in that ear for the rest of my life after the surgery would be a bonus- the surgery went well. There is no damage to the ear drum and the numbness takes some getting used to, but thankfully I suffered no paralysis or complications. It drained longer than it was supposed to because of a possible infection, but some antibiotics took care of that. The scars are healing nicely but I was told to give it at least a year for them to properly heal. Hang in there and and you'll be fine!

For folks in the Pittsburgh area, I would recommend Metropolitan Ear Nose & Throat, so far so good.
Hi all, I had a benign tumor removed from my paratoid gland last Friday Feb 27th. I went to Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, and felt I was in very good hands working with a surgeon from Dana Faber. I stayed in the hospital until Sunday, had the drain removed before I left that day. Stitches removed and post op with the doctor was this past Wed, just five days later. My tumor hung low and facial nerves were fine, no paralysis. My left ear is close to fully numb, and I was told those nerves have to be cut during surgery and I most likely will not regain full feeling. I have the pain in the ear like an ear infection and feel fluid sometimes almost likes its running faucet, but i know that is from the swelling of my gland. I have some pain when I eat/chew from the swelling, feels like it hurts my upper teeth and jaw. Goes away after I eat. The gland they worked on, the paratoid gland, the tumor was completely removed, shaved off, gland preserved, but its very swollen. My swelling starts in front of my left ear, down to my chin and under the ear at cheek/jaw line, goes into my upper chin making me look like i have a giblet, and I feel firm swelling where the drain was. So its been a full week, Fri to Fri. I don't feel the swelling has worsened but it doesn't seem to be going away either. When the doc saw me at post op Wed she didn't think the swelling was abnormal, said I will notice week to week it getting better, so next week I should start to see a difference. She said it could take 3-6 weeks for the body to absorb the fluid causing the swelling. I'm no super model, but the swelling it upsetting…I would love to hear from anyone who had prolonged swelling, when is "normal" NOT normal? Is it reasonable to expect a month to go by, should I have noticed a reduction by now? Appreciate any information. I'm not in much pain, tylenol helps when I need it. Thank you!!
I had a parotidectomy done on my right side done on Feb 9th 2015 due to a big tumor (bening) but it's been a mont now and I am experiencing this sharp electric shock pains inside my right ear
that come and go and they are more severe the minute i get a little tense, I went to see the doctor 2 weeks later because of this sharp pains & doctor said this electroshock pains are normal as the nerves are struggling to reconnect and in some cases the pain can last to 120 days after surgery, does anybody has this same issue. Other than this , a have the normal surgery pain, numbnesss in the ear but this electric shock pains are KILLING me!
I had partial parotidectomy end of Jan 15, all has healed well except the psin in my earlobe when I go outside in cold, its unbearable now so I stay indoors, as anyone had same feeling very depressed my ear seems very sensitive and my cheekbone hurts if anyone can help please feel free to email me thank you
I'm looking for the doctor here in ontario,canada who uses a machine/equipment to separate the facial nerves prior to removing the cysts in my parotid area to avoid facial paralysis. I do not want to sign a waiver that upon waking up or later my face shall be paralyzed. There was a machine in southeast asia used on my first parotid surgery some thirty years ago that prevented any paralysis. I'm looking for the right doctor. I currently have three cysts on the parotid area due to be removed, one is not malignant and the two, still need biopsy. Please help
I am looking for an ENT in the Birmingham, AL for possible a Parotid tumor on my face. Is there any that specialize in this condition?
I live in Sweden. Had small lump no left Parotid gland. Went for FNA and came back inconclusive. Had MRA and a second FNA but still inconclusive. Had the surgery 10 days ago (superficial parotidectomy) and no facial nerve damage. One overnight hospital stay and drain removed next day and sent home. Only taking Tylenol for pain as it is not usual to prescribe narcotics here and I am sensitive to them anyway. The first 3 days were miserable with constant dull ache and stinging periodically along incision. Opening mouth to eat very painful, so limited to liquids and soft foods. Very painful reaction to anything sour ie. OJ, yogurt. It almost felt like a cramp in the gland area. They use staples instead of sutures here. On day 4, a steady flow of liquid is oozing from incision requiring constant attention and keeping gauze taped to area to absorb. Doc said this was normal but I had not read about this anywhere. It lasted 3 days before subsiding. Swelling continuing to go down and staples removed. Earlobe is completely numb as reported by most people and periodic tingling or pain in incision area as nerves reconnect. Cheek area close to ear also numb. Have a week before getting pathology report on tumor and in the meantime trying to get back to normal routine. Eating is almost back to normal as I can chew much better now. But still having considerable pain in jaw/gland area for an hour after a meal which I treat with Tylenol.
I had a parotidectomy done on my right side on Feb 9th 2015 due to a big tumor 4.7 (benign thank gOD)) but it's been 2 months now and I am still experiencing
sharp electric shock pains inside my right ear
this pains come and go come and go and they are more severe the minute i get a little tense, lift something or chew . I went to see the doctor 2 weeks later after my surgery regarding this sharp pains & doctor said this electroshock pains are normal as the nerves are struggling to reconnect and regenerate causing this pain , he said some people are more sensible to pain then others and apparently this could be my case. Doctor also explained that in some cases the pain can last up to 120 days after surgery. Does anybody has this same issue. I am taking Vicoden to help me ease this nerve electric shock pains .Other than this , a have the normal pins & needle pain, numbnesss in the ear but this electric shock pains are KILLING me! I have another appointment with him next month. He is an excellent doctor
Hi all

Had a total parotidectomy 4 weeks ago in New Delhi. The FNA came back as Benign but after they had taken the hard mass from my parotid gland removing the whole gland the results came back as three different opinions but nothing certain although doctors said it was Malignant now and recommend Radiation now. They are saying it was a high grade possibility tumour plus another name malignant tumour plus benign tumour. They were not certain which type although biopsy was a final report with three different opinions of what it could be. Completely confused now because I would have thought a biopsy of the tumour that was taken out could actually determine what actually it was. The operation was performed at a top private hospital in New Delhi called Fortis Hospital. But I am really concerned as I really have not got an accurate report of what exactly the tumour was. Have quite a lot of numbness in my face and slight ache down my face. My eyes close fine and I can wink quite well. Smile is not fully back but I can eat well and just have slight drinking problems when drinking from a bottle with it spilling a little on my left side but not too bad. Face feels stinging sensation and quite stiff with cheekbone soreness. Do get quite a bit of sensitivity to light etc with slight headaches. Just concerned if it is Malignant will it get the better off me. I did have one Lymph node removed that was contained in the Parotid gland but all my other Lymph nodes had no sign of metastasis as tumour was contained within gland and not outside. But still do feel nervous especially when I do not have a real answer to the biopsy report as stated it could be any three that they said. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I am 66 y.o. I had 90% of parotid removed 8 days ago. MRI was done and showed tumor, aspiration was inconclusive. I have a scar with absorbable sutures in front of and behind my ear and down my neck. It is healing ok with minimal facial nerve damage. I cannot see assymetry in the face, but notice it when sucking through a straw, lack of suction. Lower 1/2 of ear lobe is numb. My tumor appeared in 1 day, just awakened with tumor about 6 weeks ago and was about 5 cm, surgical path showed cystadenoma. Tumor developed after root canal and crown after molar was ground down. in 3 one & 1/2 hour sessions each Root canal was for fractured molarI am using silicone patches on the scars which are acceptable. .Worse complication now is pain with chewing and with any food in the mouth-feels like a nerve is exposed, like a severe tooth ache, resolves a little while after eating. Interested to know if anyone has similar history or pain.
I am waiting for operation next month, I have warthins tumours on both sides. For anyone wanting a real good source of information and if you are on Facebook there is a private group called Parotid People. It really has been a comfort for me talking to people in the group and exchanging info. All your questions and concerns are answered.
just had surgery and in front of my ear and under is very, very hard. Is this common? Did anyone else experience this?
How many hours before the surgery to stop eating and drinking fluids
Hi. I just had the surgery and was wondering what kind of soap to use and what to use to prevent scarring? Thanks
#103 Louise - That 's funny that you reported that you had a root canal and crown. I also had a root canal done on my right molar and now have a parotid cyst/tumor on my right parotid gland.
Hello, I had a benign Warthins tumor removed on Dec 11th 2013. It was a fairly large tumor 6.75cm x 3.75cm x 2.75cm in my deep lobe. It took my surgeon Dr Robert Weisman , the director of UCSD Moores Head and Neck Cancer Center 5 1/2 hours to remove it with very minor nerve damage to my right lip. He did put AlloDerm Matrix in my dent to help to keep me from developing Frey's syndrome. It's been 21 months since the surgery and esverything is fine. The best thing is that I found a great support group on Facebook called Parotid People that has great people and lots of information and support for people going through all types of salivary issues. From tumors and cancer treatments to Sjögren's syndrome. After about 4 months I was made an admin and I'm the one who adds members to the group. I'm posting my email but if you're a Facebook member just search for the group and request to join. We have 829 members who are all willing to share their experiences and surgeons. Please join us!! God bless you all in your journey. Jonathan
Hi guys.

I am 22 years old and had a superficial parotidectomy on the left hand side on the 27-10-2015. It was done at Heartlands hospital in Birmingham and was a successful procedure. Upon waking from the procedure I felt very sick and had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic (not uncommon) I had a drain on the wound and was released the next day (providing the drain slowed down and was not draining too much). For a few days after I was in a lot of pain and unable to eat much solid food. It was very swollen and I've seen found out it has become infected (apparently happens in 2-5% of cases). This has caused my wound to be seep pus. It has been happening quite regularly and is quite a steady steam coming from the wound. This has set my recovery time back a bit so that is a little frustrating. Although this has happened I still find the procedure very worth while when you way up the potential risks of getting cancer (if your growth is benign). The surgery was done by Mr Howe and it has to be said he is an absolute gentleman and he a very tidy job. It is just unfortunate it has gotten infected and I just put it down to being unlucky. I have not had any of the other side effects such as facial weakness which is positive the only thing I have is numbness of the side of my head and ear which was to be expected when you operate on such an area.
Had tumor removed from left parotid gland on 10/21/15. I had a muscle flap reconstruction done and due to the incisions and swelling I can not tell exactly where the flap has been placed. Like someone mentioned above, the area in front of my ear and down my cheek to my jaw feels very hard and deformed. I was not expecting this so it upset me. My surgeon's office told me that all the affected tissue will soften and blend but the entire area feels disturbing to the touch. I am very numb by the ear and behind it and I am beginning to feel the electric shocks due to my nerves healing. My surgeon is world renowned and is a head and neck cancer specialist with the Ohio State University so hopefully I was in the best of care. I did research the procedure before hand so I was aware of the length of the incision and of the care taken to identify the facial nerves but I did not expect the numb, hard feeling in front of and behind my ear where the tumor had been. I see my surgeon in another week and I will have him explain to me exactly what was done and what I can expect as I heal. I was fortunate that there was no cancer but the tumor had grown into the parotid gland further than anticipated, hence the reconstructive surgery. I also want to mention that I had very little pain after my surgery and now 2 weeks post surgery my discomfort is marginal, only needing aspirin at the most.
Sean Miller
I had this surgery in March of this year. I had a couple complications from the surgery. Nothing life threatening though. Still have slight pain nothing to major. The Dr's that performed the surgery were outstanding.
Has anyone ever experienced hearing loss after having a parotid gland removed? It has been 3 weeks since the surgery. I know recovery varies with people. Is this a common thing and does the hearing come back to 100%?
My husband done biospy forehead after that he feels no sensation one area of his head will that gone nerve will regenerate
Just had the surgery this past Thursday(12/31/15). I was terrified. Already had 2 biopsies and both results benign. I did very well and was very lucky because my tumor was on top of my facial nerve. When I woke up in recovery, first thing doctor did was have me smile, blink my eyes, and move my nose. All good! Mine was a small growth right behind my left ear. About 2cm, doctor said. It is 3 days after surgery and I do have some numbness around my ear and the part of my face in front of my ear. Doctor says this may subside with time. Got through most of today on regular Tylenol but had to take some Norco tonight. Also, my jaw gets sore sometimes and makes it hard to chew. I only stayed in hospital on 23 hour observation. Drain came out before I came home. Hoping each day gets better. I guess I have unsolvable stiches and demeanour on the incisions. Surgery has not been a piece of cake but I had sinus surgery 15 years ago and that was worse. Can anyone tell me how long pain actually lasts?
I had the surgery January 5, 2016 at Massachusetts Eye and Ear (Mass General) in Boston. I stayed in the hospital two and a half days. Had the drain taken out on the 3rd day. Went back and had my stitches taken out yesterday. The incision in the front of my neck is already fading. The one in the back of the ear doesn't look as good. The surgeon was excellent. I think I probably had the best doctor in the world. I don't have any facial paralysis, but the right side of my face in front of ear and down the neck and my entire ear and behind if completely numb. My ear is incredibly swollen and it feels like a fake ear when I touch it. It is so number, but I am having really back sharp pains inside my ear like an ear infection and it feels clogged up. My neck around the incisions are extremely sore and sensitive and I am having headaches. My doctor told me the numbness is normal and the pain is the nerves reconnecting, but boy do these sharp pains hurt. I take one Dilotid pain killer at night before bed, but I am waking up from the pain 10 days after my surgery. I hope I get the feeling in my ear back and the swelling goes down soon and this pain subsides. It was worth getting the surgery and my tumor was benign. My surgeon at Mass Eye and Ear is excellent. The care I received there was the best medical care I ever had in my life and I'm 54 years old and have had two children. I can't say enough about how professional the whole hospital and staff was. I just wish this pain would hurry up and go away, but I'm told it is normal to expect this after surgery and it may go away after a few weeks to a few months.
I had the surgery1/15/16 on my left lower ear.It's my third day and I still have the drain.I can't wink,smile and there is a lot of numbness and swelling on my left face.I read that taking steroids will help with the swelling.How long will these symptoms stay?I also have terrible headache.Was given Tylenol with codaine every 4 hours.Helped with the pain but my headache remains.Thank you.
Hi had Warthins tumor removed on the right side next to my ear 2009 then again 2010 and now 2016 have had CT scan and found it has returned. They also found i have a smaller one on the left side . How many times can they remove these lumps without disfiguring your face because of nerve damage ? Really worried that this time there is no coming back from nerve damage :(
I am scheduled to have Parotid Surgery soon, the surgeon talked about putting a stitch in my eye during surgery to keep it closed.. Sounds scary, another surgery I watched on YouTube they left the eyes alone so they could make sure they were preserving the facial nerve and all branches. Does anyone have any knowledge on this? I also want to know if anyone has had a malignant tumor removed and it reoccurred ?
I had a right superficial parotidectomy on 1/12/16. Post-op diagnosis was Oncocytic tumor right parotid tail. I have had pain in my ear off and on, swelling and a tight feeling that was not very comfortable. Last night I suddenly started having a clear drainage coming from the top of the incision behind my ear. It had a tiny pink color at times too. It would stop and start for no reason. Today it does it every time I eat anything. It is very annoying! I saw my ENT today, but at that time had not noticed it was leaking when I ate. I plan to call him tomorrow, but I am anxious about how this can be fixed. Another surgery is not a pleasant thought right now.
For those of you like Ramsel who claim to have electric shock pains, I would recommend having your trigeminal nerve checked, because it sounds like trigeminal neuralgia, whihc is on eof the worst possible pains ever. I know because I had it. It is usually treated with anti-epileptic drugs, such as Neurontin. I also had a wisdom tooth taken out and 2 years later a lump that suddently has grown in size under the ear, diagnosed by biopsy as pleomorphic adenoma. I'm scheduled for surgery next week, will comment on results. Has any one heard of ways to avoid the numbness in the ear lobe? My doctor says no, how about a mini-incision surgery? I see few places that perform that kind of surgery, I'm in New York City. My doctor plans to do a fat tissue graft to avoid Frye's syndrome and improve the esthetic result that could come from the gap in that area.
Eleanor B
I had a"tennis ball" size benign tumour removers in September, operation success, all facial movements fine now, bottom part of ear still numb, scar massive but healed and fading, my only worry is I've suffered severe cold symptoms ever since October, massive allegies to cats and diagnosed as asthmatic! Never had problems before and doctors not linking it to op? I'm at wits end, although trivial compared to what could have been, but 5 months of sleep deprivation, antibiotics, steroids sprays and tablets and still suffering. Anyone else experiencing this?
Hello. Thank you for all the information and comments. You are all such brave people! I have an infected parotid gland and just had the needle aspiration done. During the VERY painful process, it was all blood that was extracted. Is this normal? The ENT doctor said there could be a possible mass since even after drainage, I have the tennis ball sized lump. I am waiting for the results from pathology.
I had the left paroditdectomy 7/2014, everything went well and my scarring has healed fine, I say that because my ENT doctor is a plastic surgeon as well so he had this amazing cream for scarring. The only problem now is that, I have to get the right side done as well after almost 2 years. My complications were sleeping on one side and having to use a straw from not being able to chew, but that's fine Ive learned to smoothie just about anything. I just don't want to go through it again, but seems like I can't avoid it. The surgery is worth it so, anybody who needs it, go ahead and get it done, the possibility of it returning is low and rare.
I too just hard a right parotidectomy. I am just one week post surgery and having some of the same effects that everyone else has mentioned. However, I am having a different problem that no one else has mentioned. I am not only having problems chewing but by tongue and the roof of my mouth feel like sand paper. Has anyone had those symptoms and what did they do about them? Please advise. I'm totally frustrated!
I am having this surgery on my left side and I am completely terrified. I've had a lot of surgeries in my time, I'm 57, but this one is scary to me. I'm glad to see the positive comments, and know everyone is different. But I am glad I did see the sight. I don't feel so alone. Thank you!!
Hi - I had surgery 21 days ago. I still having bruising and swelling but my left eye is not working correctly (will not blink, does not shut completely) and although I have drops and ointment for my eye, it still is red and sore. My face has some sensation but the muscles (which obviously means the nerves) aren't working. I've read it can take up to 3-6 months to get most of the function back but when can I expect some function to return? I cannot smile, raise my eyebrow, frown on that side of my face either. Any comments / advice would be much appreciated. Am I being too impatient by expecting to see a slight improvement each day?Mike
Hello,Daphne here, I had the surgery 4 years ago (2012/01/17), it becomes a bit painful at times when I have to open my mouth and eat, it also sweats a lot when I you think there might be a problem?
Had a Warthins tumor removed on 08/19/2107. Drained removed on 08/23/2017. Stitches removed on 08/30/2017. Since drain removal have lots of drainage out drain hole spot. Is this normal?? How long does it last? I also have a hard time opening my mouth very wide. Pain when I chew and pain also inside my ear. How long before the swelling goes down in my cheek? Can you please answer some of my questions? My doctor didn't. Any help would be nice!! Thank you for your time.
MRI found a 1.8cm mass in right parotid gland. I have no symptoms, was found incidental, had some headaches, MRI on brain is normal. Starting this journey on Wednesday with my 1st visit to a local ENT. I live in central Ma. Most likely going to end up in Boston. Have visited 100s of websites and videos. Glad I found this one. Will keep all updated, really worried right now...
Stephanie Reese
I had surgery on November 2, 2016 and I got hit in my face on that side what can happen . It feels tingling feeling now and I'm not sure if this area had this lump . What can happen and what should I do. Don't know if it changets or not
everything written within is valuable for all of us before and after surgery. The ent's don't really tell u too much but this is the real deal. Had my surgery 2 weeks ago yes its still swollen had it drained yesterday and will again this thursday I guess since its Christmas they want me to enjoy as best as possible! NO CANCER! that was my Christmas!
comment for Dan from Oct 31 post. Having parotid tumor out at Boston Med. Center in town the end of Jan. Hoping for good results!! Check out the drs. there. I live on the South Shore.
Had Mass removed January 18th from my left parotid gland. Radiologist said it was highly likely to be malignant, but thank God, it turned out to be benign. It was the size of an egg and the nerve was wrapped up in it. Very good outcome, removed intact, no facial paralysis whatsoever, and no cancer! It has been a very easy surgery to recover from. Little pain here and there and numbness in the ear and jaw but overall not bad at all. My best advice is try not to worry until the biopsy results come in. I was terrified for 10 days and all ended up okay. God bless you all!
Jean gibson
22/2/17 i had this operation. Having felt a small pea size shape lump in my neck in the Summer of 2016. I am 65 yrs old woman. Like a few who have written on this site - i too had wisdom tooth problems /treatment -same side as my lump !
After CT scan and small biopsy/blood tests it was suggested a benign warthins tumour ( in bottom part of my saliva gland). (Neck) As it was small two decisions -to 'leave alone' ( where it may go unchanged for 15 years ) OR remove. If this tumour where to change or enlarge then the operation would become more invasive and could compromise more of my facial nerves. I chose to have it removed. It was given as 80% benign although no actual diagnosis can be reached - until it's out and under the microscope. Operated at 1.30pm and in recovery room by 4pm. ENT specialist. I was awake and fit to stand by 5pm. I felt no pain or discomfort. I was home by noon next day after the op.The 7" scar from behind ear to down to my throat was glued (not stapled or stitched). I didn't need any drain. I was informed to leave wound dry for five days to heal. The glue naturally disintegrated itself. I then used an antiseptic spray to cleanse gently all my wound. After ten days i began to use ordinary moisture cream along the scar. I am unable to feel half of bottom ear lobe and about 2" cheek below the ear but all is working facially as it should. I am just now in the 4th week feeling good enough to sleep on the injured side.
I have had no need of pain killers post op. The relief it's out and knowledge it WAS benign makes me pleased i had this operation. I feel vulnerable washing hair and using hairdryer but care has to be taken behind the ear esp as you can't feel this area. This I'm told may correct itself up to a years time. My hearing is as it was.
I had a very stiff neck prior to my diagnosis. I can say it's pain free now on movement. Would i do it again - YES no problem. Don't have fears over this operation.
Dawn Irwin
I had surgery to remove pleomorphic adenoma on March 28th at Mayo Clinic. Superficial parotidecomy. Ended up having a hematoma in the recovery room and returned to surgery immediately. Also had a fatty tissue graft from my stomach to fix what they thought would be a deficit in my neck from the gland/tumor removal. I have the usual numbness to the ear, but all the facial nerves work fine. I have dissolvable sutures and glue, so don't have to worry about that. What I am concerned about is I have a large hard lump now forming under my ear and down my neck where the tumor was and probably where the graft was placed. Has anyone else had a lump? It is causing my ear to feel plugged. I am only 5 days out and the only pain I have is from the ear aches.
I had surgery to remove my parotid tumour (L) on 11th April 2017. Only complications after surgery were a haematoma after two days, (drained and thereafter no problem) and the lack of feeling in two thirds of my left ear, worst being in the ear lobe, which feels pretty strange. Research shows this ear numbness, which may be permanent, is
Hi Dawn and Mireille... Had parotidectomy on 11 April. No facial nerve damage apparent - numbness ear and cheek, stitches out but also have a hard swollen mass ..
Hi all .. Iam a 53 year old healthy guy & having my surgery very soon .. I've got a begging tumour on my left side just bellow my ear ... I've had scans & fine needle aspiration .. have read all your threads & was wondering if it's ok to back to work after a week .. ??
Parotid surgery on April 17th came back as B-cell lymphoma any one else have this happen? Also feel intermittent sensations of a wet dripping in my head on that side. It was a large tumor Dr said size of goose egg any info would be greatly appreciated thanks
Had surgery on 5/10/2017. I'm exactly 30 days post op and doing pretty good. The only numbness I have is on the bottom half of my ear. When I touch it, it feels like a melted marshmallow. I'm to scared to sleep on surgery side because my ear doesn't feel like a real ear.
I just had a left paratid tumer removed 6/26/17. I have all the usual symptoms with little pain. I had the drain removed today, 2 days later and now it is painful to swallow food. Liquid is not painful.
My parotid mass was an encapsulated, thick-walled cyst, like an egg, with a solid component inside it. I'm 65 years old, with no history of chewing tobacco or smoking. FNA in June 2017 showed it was acinic cell adenomcarcinoma (malignant). The radiologist pulled 33 ccs of fluid from it, which relieved some of the pressure. It was located under the ear surrounded by nerves. Today the ENT surgeon removed the drain, and I have to have a towel around my neck to absorb all the clear fluid coming from insertion point of the drain tube. I'll call my doctor tomorrow as he said there would be "some" drainage. My facial nerves are fine. I make a living talking. The lower half of my left ear is numb. Pain was tolerable. My immediate concern now is the major leak behind my ear.
Im a 52 year old male and was diagnosed with a left parotid mass tumor 19 years ago. It's been close to 3 months post op since my tumor was removed. I had saliva type leakage from below my left earlobe for the first 4 weeks when I ate. Otherwise now I have no feeling on the lower half of my ear and a "tingley" sensation when I touch near the incision. The scar is still noticeable. All things considered the worst part of the whole process was the anxiety before the surgery. Anyone who is going through this please have faith and don't worry, the surgery is very common and the recovery time is fairly painless and goes by quickly.
Hi there i had a total parotidectomy on the 6th of February and discharged on the 8th of February. Will be having stitches removed on the 22nd of February.
Since i have had the operation i have been having pain on the left side of my forehead, a pain at the back of my head and a mild headache is this normal.
The operation took 4 hours
I had Parotidectomy surgery on Thursday the 27th. The surgery itself took just under four hours and I was sent home an hour following surgery. The surgeon opted not to use a drain and about 8 hours after getting home I noted blood dripping from the head wrap so called the surgeons on-call number - he phoned back and stated that this was normal in a non-drain scenario. The next day the surgical center called to see how I was doing and I mentioned that the bleeding had stopped but that there was a lump in my neck which they stated would be normal swelling and to take ibuprofen and ice the area. The lump continued to grow and heat up so on Monday morning I called the surgeons office and said that I wanted to be seen. It took three calls and me insisting to wait to talk to someone before they agreed to have me come in that afternoon. My surgeon was out so I saw another in his practice who stated that I had a hematoma which he could not aspirate because it had hardened. He suggested that it will eventually go away so to ride it out. At this point, my cheek and neck are burning. The hematoma is pressing on my ear causing pain and lack of hearing. It's also pressing on my jaw and temple causing pain in those areas as well. Has anyone else had this experience and, if so, how long did it take to resolve? Any tips to expedite the process and or relieve the pressure? TY
I was recently diagnosed with a tumor on my parotid gland. I saw a surgeon who said that this is rare and he only performs 1 or 2 of these surgeries a year. He recommended that I look for someone who is more experienced. Can anyone tell me how to find one? What should my next step be? I had a CT scan but I don't know if cancer is involved at this point. Does anyone have experience with Memorial Sloan Kettering or Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania?
I am 7 weeks post op and am experiencing neck and shoulder pain. It is difficult to lift my arm more than shoulder height. While I’ve seen improvement at times the pain is hard to bear. I had lymph nodes removed during the surgery. Has anyone else had this problem?
I am one week post-op and I have to say that the anxiety leading up to the surgery was the worst! As of right now I am having mild pain in my jaw and deep in my ear, as well as swelling and numbness on the side of my neck and ear. Hopefully this will go away in time. The tumor was a Warthin tumor and was 4 cm. at biopsy, but grew after the biopsy to roughly the size of a baseball. No facial nerve damage at all! Surgery was 4.5 hours long.
I had my superficial parotidectomy of warthin's tumour seven days ago from a very good surgeon. Remained in hospital for one night. Drain was taken out on day 3 and sutures removed on day 5. I have some swelling at the site, numbness of the ear and some pain on chewing. Took pain medicine for first 3/4 days only. Have generally been pain free since day 4 except pain on chewing which also is improving.
Bruce Clark
I was diagnosed 2 years ago with a 2.7cm deep lobe benign parotid tumour. Like a typical man, I ignored it and hoped that it would go away, but it didn't. It has kept growing. No noticeable symptoms apart from that. So I have decided to go for surgery which is in 16 days. I have to say that I am dreading it. But, going on the stats around the potential risks, I know that I should be okay. My surgeon, his a record of 99% success rate without cause facial nerve damage. Fingers crossed.
Been 8 days since my 10 hour surgery. My post symptoms are almost identical to Marylyns (#116). I was very pleased with my Doctor and the care she took. I do have temporary partial facial paralysis, and total numbness of my right outer ear which I’m told will probably be permanent. The throbbing pain, and shooting pains can be quite severe without meds, and are not subsiding. Additionally, the swelling appears to be worsening; although, there appears to be no signs of infection. Hoping for the best.
I had superficial parotidectomy 7 days ago. A 2cm pleomorphic adenoma, benign, was removed. Very little facial nerve impact. I an incision in front of the ear and below it, sutures removed on day 5. Had a drain tube also, removed day 3. It is hard to pucker my lips, sip soup from a spoon, whistle, but I do not look droopy on one side. I have total numbness in front of my ear, pain in the ear and jaw. I am still sleeping elevated and not on the incision side. It is hard to chew and there seem be spasms afterward if I try to chew anything hard. This should all subside eventually.
Louisa Evans
How do you read the responses to these questions? How can I post and get answers?
I have read all the comments and are a bit suprised and wondering why no one has removed their tumor through ECD or partial parotidectomy? Reading on the subject it doesn’t seem to be any differences in recurrence. The advantage is that these procedures are less invasive. I have a benign pleomorphic adenoma and are looking into different surgical options. Seems like there isn’t any golden standard. Any thoughts? And this is so scary by the way :(
I need help. I had a complete left parotidectomy in January of 2012 and was only left with some facial numbness around the left cheek, neck, and jaw. All of a sudden (within the last week) the numbness is getting much worse. When i touch the left side where the parotid gland was i go numb and have severe tingling down my neck. Anyone else have this? I am almost 8 years post surgery!
Hi I had right trivial paridectomy 2 weeks ago. I’m suffering with ear ache, neuralgia and cant sleep comfortably on my right side. Is this normal?

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