Management of lipomas arising from deep lobe of the parotid gland



      We would like to present our experience in management of lipomas arising in the deep lobe of the parotid gland, which were diagnosed and operated in our clinic from the point of complication/morbidity, and recurrence, in line with the literature.

      Material and methods:

      Five patients with lipoma found in the deep lobe of the parotid gland, diagnosed and treated at our clinic in the 12-year period between March 1992 and March 2004, were included in this study. Limits of the tumors were determined by computed tomography (CT), and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Preoperative fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) was also performed. Through a classic parotidectomy incision, the parotid gland was exposed. Full exposure of the facial nerve and its branches was performed. The removal of deep lobe parotid lipomas was achieved by enucleation in all cases. Postoperative complication/morbidity and recurrence were evaluated.


      The most common symptom was an otherwise asymptomatic mass on the parotid region and/or upper lateral neck. One of five patients was presented with medial displacement of the lateral pharyngeal wall, and tonsil as the additional physical finding. Preoperative radiologic evaluation results revealed that CT and/or MRI scans accurately localized 100% of the tumors in relation to the deep lobe of the parotid gland. FNAB did not enable us to make a diagnosis of lipoma in four of the cases. Total resection was achieved in all cases. Temporary facial nerve paralysis, due to the dissection of the facial nerve, did not occur in any cases. There was no recurrence of the tumors after a mean follow-up of 60 months.


      Assessment of the exact location of the tumor is an important consideration for selection of the appropriate surgical approach. Different from lipomas found in other locations, those observed in the parotid gland cannot be easily resected by simple dissection. Resection of these tumors requires full exposure of the facial nerve.


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