Safety outcomes and patient convenience in outpatient parotidectomy

Emily E. Karp, Linda X. Yin, Katherine Z. Xie, Thomas J. O'Byrne, Katherine P. Wallerius, Kendall K. Tasche, Kathryn M. Van Abel, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Eric J. Moore, Daniel L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parotidectomies have historically been performed on an inpatient basis despite being well-tolerated surgeries with minimal postoperative wound care and low rates of complications at high-volume institutions. Past studies have supported the safety of outpatient surgery for parotidectomy but have been limited to superficial parotidectomy and have not addressed the patient experience surrounding the surgical intervention such as pre-operative and post-operative care and communication. Purpose: This study assesses the impact of outpatient superficial, deep, and partial parotid surgery on various parameters including surgical safety, distance traveled for care, utilization of telehealth, and patient-initiated communication. Materials and methods: Retrospective study from January 2020 to October 2021. Patients undergoing superficial lobe, deep lobe, and partial parotidectomies for benign and malignant pathologies were divided into inpatient and outpatient cohorts. A multivariable model examined the relationship between admission status and surgical complications, adjusted for age, sex, and tumor size. Results: 159 patients total, 94 outpatient and 65 inpatients. No statistical difference in rates of surgical complications with the exception of salivary leak. There was an increased rate of salivary leak reported in the inpatient group (OR 5.4, 95 % CI 1.6 to 18.0, p = 0.01). Mean patient travel distance of 354 miles one-way. Post-operatively, 76 % were evaluated via video visit. Following discharge, >55 % of patients initiated communication with the surgical team, which was not statistically different between the groups. Conclusions: Outpatient parotidectomy is safe and can be more convenient, but telehealth communication must be balanced with rigorous attention to patient education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103806
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Outpatient
  • Parotidectomy
  • Patient convenience
  • Quality improvement
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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