Comparing Antegrade and Retrograde Parotidectomy:Surgical Parameters and Complications

Document Type : Original


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Sinus and Surgical Endoscopic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Otorhinolaryngologist, Mashhad, Iran.

4 Department of Anesthesiology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

5 Nuclear Medicine Physician, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Patotidectomy is the treatment of choice for superficial parotid gland lesions. The present study aimed to assess the facial nerve status, as well as peri-and postsurgical complications, in two surgical techniques (antegrade and retrograde) for parotidectomy.
Materials and Methods:
This study was conducted on 56 patients diagnosed with parotid neoplasms from 2013-2015. The patients were randomly assigned to two groups of antegrade and retrograde. In the retrograde group, the dissection was performed initially to expose the facial nerve branches, while in the antegrade approach, the facial nerve trunk was exposed initially. Different values, such as intraoperative bleeding, mass characteristics, and the time for different sections of the surgery, were noted. The facial nerve was examined after the surgery; moreover, hospital stay and drain removal time was also noted. During the six-month postoperative period, complications and squeals were also noted. 
Based on the results, antegrade nerve dissection was performed in 24 patients, while retrograde nerve dissection was carried out in 25 patients. The two groups were compared for intraoperative bleeding, drain output, and drain removal time. Hospital stay was found to be statistically higher in the retrograde group (P<0.05). Other complications and morbidities, such as facial nerve trauma, sialoceles, salivary fistulas, Frey’s syndrome, skin sensory changes, and surgery time, were not statistically different (P≥0.05). 
As evidenced by the obtained results, retrograde dissection had higher intraoperative bleeding and longer hospital stay. It seems that skin flap dissection is more extensive in retrograde dissection, leading to more bleeding in this approach. These differences, although statistically significant, are not clinically important; consequently, surgeons’ experience and knowledge about the two approaches are of utmost importance.