CYSTS of the major salivary glands are most frequent in the parotid where they form a small percentage of its benign tumours. They can be congenital or acquired and of parotid or extraparotid origin. Two unusual cysts are reported: a cholesteatoma arising from the ipsilateral mastoid, twenty years after successful radical mastoidectomy, and a deeply located cyst of probable congenital origin. The literature is reviewed and the management discussed. Parotidectomy, often with extensive dissection, remains in general the treatment of choice.
Cysts in the parotid gland represent a small percentage of benign parotid masses. They usually arise within the gland from salivary or non-salivary parotid tissue, and may be congenital or acquired. Some, however, may arise from surrounding structures.
Unless the cyst is superficial and therefore readily amenable to proper examination, it usually escapes a definite diagnosis even with the help of sialography or more sophisticated procedures. Exploration is eventually resorted to for diagnosis and treatment. That is why the surgeon should be ready to perform extensive surgery if the findings at exploration necessitate it.
The purpose of this article is to present two cystic lesions of the parotid. The first is a rarity, a cholesteatoma originating from the ipsilateral mastoid; and the second an unusually deeply located cyst. These cases illustrate well the problems met with in the management of preauricular masses.