The aim of this operation is to remove the parotid lump with as wide a margin of normal tissue as possible while preserving the facial nerve.

Because tumour infiltration of the facial nerve may require a total parotidectomy, with sacrifice of the facial nerve trunk, patients must be warned of this possible outcome beforehand.

When a clinically unremarkable lump is removed by formal parotidectomy with a wide margin of normal tissue and is shown to be malignant, no further treatment is necessary with muco-epidermoid or acinic cell tumours. If histology reveals adenoid cystic or carcinoma, or if the margin of normal tissue is inadequate, then post-operative radiotherapy is advisable because of the known risks of perineural invasion and spread.

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