The most common salivary gland tumor is pleomorphic adenoma, which is primarily benign, but about 4% become malignant over time.
Parotid tumors are in some cases difficult to classify. It is not always straightforward to determine whether the tumor is malignant or benign. In cases where an assumed benign tumor turns out to be malignant, a lymphadenectomy of applicable lymph nodes will be performed.
Malignant tumors make surgery more difficult due to invasion of surrounding tissue. There is greater risk of injury to the 7th cranial nerve which runs directly through the gland. Injury to the 7th cranial nerve causes facial paralysis. In some cases, the injured nerve can be removed and replaced with a nerve segment from another localization of lesser consequence.
Tumors in the parotid gland often have microscopic diffuse borders. The entire surface content of the gland is therefore included with the specimen.
- Tumor in the parotid gland
- Resection of tumor with margin.