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Dear Dr. Roach: Remove mass on parotid gland sooner rather than later | Columnists

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Pricey Dr. Roach: I just lately was recognized with a benign pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland. My surgeon says that the mass must be removed, and explained most of the dangers. The risks terrify me: Frey’s syndrome, facial paralysis, numbness.

My mass is 11 mm. Is that thought-about giant? Might this mass be slow-growing, with little probability of it turning into cancerous? How lengthy might I wait earlier than agreeing to the surgery?

A: I feel I agree together with your surgeon: Most plenty like this must be eliminated. As with all process, there are risks and advantages. One danger is Frey’s syndrome (sweating around the face), which is a attainable complication of the surgery. One other danger is injury to the facial nerve, which runs by way of the parotid, and injury to it throughout surgery may cause facial weak spot and numbness.

That is the dangerous news. The good news is that 11 mm is a small tumor, and the risks of problems are fairly low. For example, short-term facial nerve injury happens in 10 to 60 % of surgical procedures (relying on measurement and proximity to the facial nerve), but 90 % recuperate within one month. Permanent facial nerve injury happens in 0 to eight % of instances in several studies.

Balanced towards the dangers of surgical procedure are the dangers of not doing surgery. Untreated, the tumor is more likely to grow, making it more durable and extra dangerous to take away. Nevertheless, there’s all the time a small probability of transformation to a malignant tumor. If I had a patient in your state of affairs, I doubtless would advocate surgery. If you’ll do surgery, it’s better to take action sooner.

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