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Salivary Gland Tumour Treatment London

To some extent benign and malignant tumours are treated similarly, however, wider margins of normal tissue are taken to ensure clearance.

Parotid Tumour treatment, London

The traditional surgical approach to benign parotid tumours is a superficial parotidectomy (SP) and a total parotidectomy (TP) for deep tumours. But modern techniques have moved towards more minimally invasive procedures which are quicker and cause less tissue damage so there are less side effects.

Traditional Parotidectomy, London

The traditional superficial parotidectomy (SP) involves lifting the skin from the surface of the cheek to expose the parotid gland. The gland is lifted upwards just in front of the ear and the facial nerve identified. It is then traced forward through the gland and in doing so the portion of the gland above the nerve is freed and removed (two thirds of the gland).

A total parotidectomy (TP) accompanies tumours deep to the facial nerve. Here the exposed branches of the nerve are lifted to access the tumour. With this additional stripping of the nerve comes an increased risk of permanent and temporary nerve injury. This surgery is also associated with Frey’s Syndrome whereby the salivary nerves that used to stimulate the gland now join the skin so when the patient takes food the skin begins to sweat. The loss of gland also leads to a change in contour of the cheek.

Even with malignant tumours the facial nerve is preserved if possible. Malignant tumours sometimes require removal of the lymph glands in the neck as well.

Extra-Capsular Dissection, London (ECD)

This is a new minimally invasive procedure. The surgery is performed by moving down a minimally invasive pathway and into the parotid gland. A minimally invasive approach challenges the concepts underpinning traditional parotidectomy and is still contested.

Submandibular and Minor Salivary Gland, London

A SMG adenoma should be removed in continuity with the gland. Malignant tumours sometimes require removal of the lymph glands in the neck.

The most common intra-oral site for benign salivary gland tumours is the junction of the hard and soft palate. These tumours can be safely dissected without major surgery.

Radiotherapy for Salivary Gland Tumours, London

To optimise the chance of cure following surgery, radiotherapy is sometimes given after surgery, however, radiotherapy on its own is not recommended for the treatment of salivary gland tumours.