The role of total parotidectomy in high-grade parotid malignancy: A multisurgeon retrospective review

Emily E. Karp, Joaquin J. Garcia, Stephen A. Chan, Kathryn M. Van Abel, Eric J. Moore, Jeffrey R. Janus, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Kerry D. Olsen, Michael L. Hinni, Katharine A. Price, Daniel J Ma, Robert L. Foote, Michelle A. Neben Wittich, Daniel L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Determine rates of intra-parotid and neck nodal metastasis, identify risk factors for recurrence, and report outcomes in patients with primary high-grade parotid malignancy who undergo total parotidectomy and neck dissection. Materials & methods: Retrospective review of patients undergoing total parotidectomy and neck dissection for high-grade parotid malignancy between 2005 and 2015. The presence and number of parotid lymph nodes, superficial and deep, as well as cervical lymph nodes involved with metastatic disease were assessed. Risk factors associated with metastatic spread to the parotid deep lobe were identified and recurrence rates reported. Results: 75 patients with median follow-up time of 47 months. 35 patients (46.7%) had parotid lymph node metastasis. Seven patients (9.3%) had deep lobe nodal metastasis without metastasis to the superficial lobe nodes. Nine patients (12%) had positive intra-parotid nodes without positive cervical nodes. Cervical nodal disease was identified in 49.3% patients (37/75). Local, parotid-bed recurrence rate was 5.3% (4/75). Regional lymph node recurrence rate was also 5.3% (4/75). Rate of distant metastasis was 30.6% (23/75). The overall disease free survival rate for all patients at 2 and 5 years were 71% and 60% respectively. Conclusion: Parotid lymph node metastasis occurred at a similar rate to cervical lymph node metastasis (46.7% and 49.3%, respectively). Deep lobe parotid nodal metastasis occurred in nearly a quarter of patients and can occur without superficial parotid nodal metastasis. Rate of recurrence in the parotid bed, which may represent local or regional recurrence, was similar to regional cervical lymph node recurrence. Total parotidectomy and neck dissection should be considered high-grade parotid malignancy regardless of clinical nodal status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103194
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Parotid malignancy
  • Parotidectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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