Objective: To compare the complication rates of parotidectomy operations on benign histology performed by ENT and non-ENT surgeons.
Study design and setting: A seven-year (1994–2000) retrospective case notes review of patients undergoing parotidectomy in a United Kingdom district general hospital was performed. Patients with malignant histology were excluded.
Participants: Patients were identified from the hospital computer database. One hundred and fifty-nine patients underwent parotidectomy for both benign and malignant conditions over the seven-year period. One hundred and thirty-seven (86 per cent) patients had parotidectomy for benign conditions and were included in this study.
Main outcome measures: The presence or absence of facial palsy and other associated complications following parotidectomy surgery in both groups.
Results: The temporary facial palsy rates for ENT and non-ENT surgeons were 56 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively. The permanent facial palsy rates for ENT and non-ENT surgeons were 2 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Differences in facial palsy were not statistically significant. The difference in other complication rates such as Frey's syndrome, haematoma, salivary fistula, and neuroma were also not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Our complication rates were comparable with published results. There was no significant difference in the observed rate of post-operative facial nerve palsy and other known complications following parotid surgery performed by ENT and non-ENT surgeons.