Original Article|Articles in Press

Risk factors for sialocele after parotidectomy: Does tumor size really matter?

Published:March 14, 2023DOI:



      Sialocele that develops after parotid surgery often prolongs the treatment period and stresses both the surgeon and patient. The extent of surgery and tumor size are known to be associated with sialocele occurrence. We investigated the incidence of post-parotidectomy sialocele and the associated risk factors, with a focus on tumor size.


      We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 172 patients who underwent parotidectomy between January 2013 and May 2020 at Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University of Korea. We stratified patients into those with and without sialocele (fluid collection in the operative bed). We compared clinical data, patient demographics, and surgical details; we identified risk factors for sialocele development after parotid surgery.


      Seventeen patients were diagnosed with post-parotidectomy sialocele (9.88%; 17/172). Univariate logistic regression revealed that the male sex, deep lobe tumor location, and large tumor size were significantly associated with postoperative sialocele (p = 0.015, 0.009, and 0.016, respectively). We subjected these parameters to multivariate analyses; the odds ratios were 3.70, 3.58, and 2.34, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses showed that a tumor size > 2.50 cm was the optimal cutoff in terms of predicting post-parotidectomy sialocele.


      Male sex, a tumor in the deep lobe, and large tumor size were strongly associated with increased risk for sialocele after parotidectomy. Tumor size > 2.50 cm serves as the cutoff identifying patients likely to experience sialocele after parotid surgery.


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