Parotidectomy incisions

Parotidectomy is the operation to remove a lump in the parotid gland. This may be a malignant or benign lump but the approach is very often similar albeit that the operation may vary in its extent for these. It is extremely rare to place the incision just over thelump itself even for the limited extracapsular dissection sometimes undertaken. Most incisions avail of relaxed skin tension lines.

My choice of incision is a lazy S cervico facial incision. This is an incision that starts in the skin crease just in front of the ear, goes under the lobe and then heads down in a neck skin crease 2 finger breadths below the jaw line. This approach gives excellent access to find the facial nerve and to remove the tumour. Aesthetically this works very well too. Some people favour the face lift approach, where after the incision in front of the ear the incision is taken behind the ear and down the hair line. This does work and hides more of the incision but does limit access in some situations, especially when undertaking malignant workload.