Parapharyngeal space tumors without mandibulotomy: our experience

Presutti, Livio; Molteni, Gabriele; Malvè, Laura; Marchioni, Daniele; Ghidini, Angelo; Tassi, Sauro; Chiarini, Luigi; Alicandri-Ciufelli, Matteo
January 2012
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology;Jan2012, Vol. 269 Issue 1, p265
Academic Journal
Parapharyngeal space (PPS) tumors are rare and benign in 80% of cases. Since surgeons first resected this anatomical region, the surgical approach to PPS bulks has been a hot topic due to their shape and the important structures involved. We present a series of patients treated with a transcervical or transcervical-transparotid approach to benign PPS tumors without mandibulotomy. Between May 2003 and March 2009, 18 patients (11 male and 7 female) with benign PPS tumors underwent a surgical resection, avoiding mandibulotomy. Average age of the patients was 49 years (range 3-76), average tumor size was 5.5 × 4 × 3 cm and histological examination of the resected tumors showed: seven pleomorphic adenomas of the deep parotid lobe, four schwannomas, two mycobacteriosis, two paragangliomas of the vagus nerve, one lipoma, one neurofibroma and one cavernous hemangioma. Seven patients underwent a transcervical approach, while 11 patients underwent a transcervical-transparotid approach. Excision of benign PPS tumors is possible without mandibulotomy even in the case of a large tumor mass, but exposure with the mandible in situ is certainly poor. Avoiding mandibulotomy reduces patient morbidity and hospital stay. In our experience, mandibulotomy can be avoided in most cases of benign PPS tumors leaving this procedure for malignant tumors or in patients with very poor exposure.


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