Document Type


Publication Date



This article has been peer-reviewed. It is the author's final published version in Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery ,Volume 48, Issue 1, November 2019, Article number 64.

The published version is available at Copyright © Bovenzi


BACKGROUND: Parotidectomy is a common treatment option for parotid neoplasms and the complications associated with this procedure can cause significant morbidity. Reconstruction following parotidectomy is utilized to address contour deformity and facial nerve paralysis. This study aims to demonstrate national trends in parotidectomy patients and identify factors associated with adverse postoperative outcomes. This study includes the largest patient database to date in determining epidemiologic trends, reconstructive trends, and prevalence of adverse events following parotidectomy.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed for parotidectomies included in the ACS-NSQIP database between January 2012 and December 2017. CPT codes were used to identify the primary and secondary procedures performed. Univariate and multivariate analysis was utilized to determine associations between pre- and perioperative variables with patient outcomes. Preoperative demographics, surgical indications, and common medical comorbidities were collected. CPT codes were used to identify patients who underwent parotidectomy with or without reconstruction. These pre- and perioperative characteristics were compared with 30-day surgical complications, medical complications, reoperation, and readmission using uni- and multivariate analyses to determine predictors of adverse events.

RESULTS: There were 11,057 patients who underwent parotidectomy. Postoperative complications within 30 days were uncommon (1.7% medical, 3.8% surgical), with the majority of these being surgical site infection (2.7%). Free flap reconstruction, COPD, bleeding disorders, smoking, and presence of malignant tumor were the strongest independent predictors of surgical site infection. Readmission and reoperation were uncommon at an incidence of 2.1% each. The strongest factors predictive of readmission were malignant tumor and corticosteroid usage. The strongest factors predictive of reoperation were free flap reconstruction, malignant tumor, bleeding disorder, and disseminated cancer. Surgical volume/contour reconstruction was relatively uncommon (18%). Facial nerve sacrifice was uncommon (3.7%) and, of these cases, only 25.5% underwent facial nerve reinnervation and 24.0% underwent facial reanimation.

CONCLUSIONS: There are overall low rates of complications, readmissions, and reoperations following parotidectomy. However, certain factors are predictive of adverse postoperative events and this data may serve to guide management and counseling of patients undergoing parotidectomy. Concurrent reconstructive procedures are not commonly reported which may be due to underutilization or underreporting.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.