What to expect after a parotidectomy?

If you’re reading this, chances are that you or someone close to you has just undergone a parotidectomy. First of all- congratulations! That’s right, congratulations on making it through the surgery in one piece (yes, pun intended).

Now, we know that undergoing any kind of surgical procedure is never easy. But don’t worry; in this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what happens after a parotidectomy.

Quick Refresher: What Is a Parotidectomy?

A parotidectomy is the surgical removal of one or both parotid glands located behind your ear; their function is the secretion of saliva which travels through ducts into your mouth. An imbalance caused by excessive salivary gland activity can lead to issues like benign tumors or stones in these organs.

The reasons for having a parotid gland removed may differ- from cancer diagnosis to facial nerve damage due tumor growth with pain and swelling-, however currently there are between 3 and 5% incidence rates reported and according WHO statistics they appear more frequently above age sixty.

But enough with medical jargon – let’s talk about what really matters: What comes next?

Post-Surgery Procedures

There will definitely be some steps taken following surgery- as always follow individually provided doctors’ instructions:

Hospital Stay

You will most likely have been admitted overnight for observation purposes if not longer depending on overall health condition

Drainage Tubes

One thing everyone mentions about post-paroidectomies is drain tubes – these clear plastic tubes help expose excess fluids produced during healing process outside body especially common around new scar tissue sites.
These devices must be left inside until bleeding subsides along with monitoring other additional post-operative care things such as vital signs including blood pressure readings,


Your routine activities might see disruption during post-operative process. Lift only a specific amount of weight, and avoid physical exertion in general- such as bending over or doing intense cardio sessions unless allowed by your doctor. These are precautionary measures to avoid things like ruptures or damaging internal stitches.


Swelling is quite common after the operation especially around area close to wound site which can last for few days or weeks depending on level of surgical invasion, rest assured that this will eventually subside over time but icing along with anti-inflammatory medications may be employed for relief purposes.


As mentioned previously every individual requires customized aftercare, meaningful complications are highly seen if not taken care appropriately we’re going into depth below:

Facial Nerve Damage

This complication happens when nerves located near the parotid gland get damaged during surgery – resulting in facial paralysis or weakness sometimes temporary; up to 30 % likelihood according to health journals… It’s best getting checked frequently as well.


It’s normal for there to be some bleeding immediately following surgery- however excessive amounts require immediate medical attention interventions sooner than later when it comes down to blood loss amounts matter greatly!


Post-surgery infections can happen due an opening in skin making it vulnerable sickness carrying microorganisms residing inside surface tissue organs increasing odds infection instance.

Recovery Time

The most important thing you should know about recovery from a parotidectomy is that patience is key – nothing beats endurance. It’s said that full-time healing might take between several months even up until two years depending on case-specific factors like type of tumor removed both stage wise, previous surgeries attempted & general lifestyle adjustments made during recuperation.What helps? Good nutrition habits alongside physical therapy can help reduce symptoms gradually but no shortcuts exist

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Everything you need to know (in colorful fashion) about what comes next after a parotidectomy.

Remember, Take it easy, and be patient with yourself. This is a journey of healing but do take advantage of utilizing prescribed painkillers if necessary for avoiding complications; especially the pain that could result from swelling or facial nerve damage… Just because you’re Superman/Superwoman doesn’t mean it can’t affect you too!

That being said, keep checking up regularly on your doctor appointments – they’ll help ensure everything is going smoothly as soon as possible. Finally find comfort in positive distractions like entertainment by music or indulge reading recommended comics while recuperating.

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