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Objectives: Currently, limited data examines the safety of utilizing fat transfers in the setting of malignant parotid disease. Here we evaluate the safety of fat graft reconstruction of parotidectomy defects in the setting of malignant disease.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study

Methods: Electronic chart review of patients who underwent parotidectomy from 2012-2020 were reviewed.

Results: Three hundred and sixty-one patients were identified at a single institution who underwent parotidectomy, and 113 (31.3%) were for malignancy. One hundred and thirty-two patients underwent fat graft reconstruction (49.2%, n=65 for umbilical, 50.8%, n=67 for dermal). One-third of patients had malignant pathology (34.8%, n=46). The most common malignant tumors were squamous cell carcinoma (n=15), acinic cell carcinoma (n=9), and mucoepidermoid carcinoma (n=6). Twenty patients (45.5%) received postoperative radiation therapy. Complications included: surgical site necrosis (13%), hematoma (4.3%), and infection (2.2%). Overall incidence of malignant recurrence was 4.4% with a mean time of follow-up of 10.3 (range 0 – 77.3) months. Incidence of malignant recurrence in the fat graft reconstruction subset was 0% with a mean follow-up of 9.8 (range 0.2 – 49.3) months. There was no association with use of fat graft and recurrence (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Parotidectomy defects for malignant neoplasms can be reconstructed with fat graft transfers with no impact on surveillance for disease recurrence.

Publication Date



Parotidectomy, fat graft, reconstruction


Medicine and Health Sciences | Otolaryngology


Presented at the Triological Society Virtual Combined Sections Meeting 2021

Fat Graft for Parotidectomy Defect Reconstruction in the Setting of Malignant Disease