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  • Swollen Parotid gland

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    Old 05-22-2008, 06:52 PM   #1
    aumusicgirl
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    Swollen Parotid gland

    Ok...I am 30 years old, now. When I was in 8th grade, out of the blue, both of my parotid glands swelled up. I was tested for all kinds of things..including AIDS. I was admitted into the hospital and was put on an IV drip for 5 days. The swelling went down, but the problems with the glands never went away. Throughout high school, everytime I would chew gum or eat, the glands would tighten up. I would massage them out, and I could actually feel saliva come out of the gland into my mouth. In 10th grade, I had another swelling episode, so my ENT decided to do needle aspiration on it. They put me under because they wanted to stick me several times in my swollen gland--this time it was only my left gland. They did tests on the fluid, and they just determined that I had sialydenitis (spelling?) with crystalloids. Well, since that time, I haven't had any major swelling with the glands. It just became normal to feel tightness in my jaw everytime I would eat...especially something sour. Just this past March, my left side swelled up! I couldn't believe this was happening again. After a couple of shots, and a weeks worth of antibiotics, the swelling subsided. This past weekend, it flared up again. STill, just the left side. I am on another antibiotic, but I must say that the pain seems to be worse. I have had a slight fever this time, and I did back in March as well. What causes this?? Should I keep fighting off the infection with anitbiotics or go ahead and schedule surgery to take the gland out? Has anyone had a parotidectomy? I'm scared about the possibility of facial nerve damage, and the scaring, of course. Anyone experienced this?

     
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    Old 06-09-2008, 11:46 PM   #2
    esthero
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    Re: Swollen Parotid gland

    Hi there!
    I feel your pain.

    I had a Parotidectomy on May 8th/08, so I'm still healing.

    My surgery was over 3 hours long, close to 4. My ENT has done thousands of these and apparently mine was the worst he has seen/done. My was very infected, full of puss, very swollen and has a possible tumor on it. Still waiting for those test results.

    The day of my surgery, after I woke up, I was completely out of it, morphine and all since I was in a lot of pain. I had the left one removed. Anyway, I could smile a little bit but it was very droopy on the left side. I could NOT shut my eye at all or raise the left side of my forehead and eyebrow. I was prepped once again for surgery.

    My surgeon decided to wait till the next morning to decide if I was going to be taken down to the OR again or not. WHen i was under the knife, the part of the facial nerve that controls the eye, forehead and eyebrow did not respond to the electrodes. THe next morning, it moved a tiny bit but my eye still would not blink or shut. They had taped it closed the night before.

    During the day I kept trying to shut my eye, but to no avail. In the evening, I was again prepped for surgery, like no eating, drinking, etc. But when my surgeon came in the next morning, he had decided I did not need a second operation because the eye closed, but only when I closed the right one first. My eyebrow and forehead were raising a bit more too. Of course, being stuck in the hospital, i had nothing else to do so I practiced moving the eyelid, eyebrow and that part of the forehead.

    I must say that the first night of my surgery, I was on an IV of fluids, panteloc and steroids. The steroids were because the nerve was weak and didnt respond to the electrodes. That may be why it took a while for the movement to start to come back, very slowly.

    Now it's June 10th. I can close the left and right eyes at the same time. But it's NOT a blink. I have to actually think about closing the left eye. I still can;t blink it. It depends sometimes. The left eye might close hallf way when I blink, other times, it doesnt budge. I'm still taping my eye closed every night and i put gel in it at night as well. I'm on my 2nd bottle of eye drops becuase, like I said, I can't blink it, and it gets really really dry. THese eye drops are a life saver.

    My smile is still a little slanted and droopy. But it's getting better. I'm not sure how long my smile will remain like that or how long it will be until the eye blinks on its own again. could be months or a year. Time will tell.

    However, there isn't any actual damage done to the nerve itself, it's just weak.

    I'd check out ENTs in your area to see how many of them has done this type of operation and how many of their patients have had troubles with the nerve.

    Oh, another note.
    I haven't had many problems being post-op. It just feels strange on the left side of my face. OH i totally forgot. I can only feel the top part of my left ear. According to my surgeon, I may get a little bit more feeling back to my ear but my ear lobe will be numb for the rest of my life. There's a nerve by the ear that had to be removed in order for him to get at the gland. I'm not sure if this is the case for every parotidectomy, who knows, ask your ENT about that.

    The incision was rather large, I must say. I did take a picture of it and if you'd like to see it, let me know. I got bored while I was off work from teh surgery. I was off for 24 days. what a long and boring 24 days haha

    If you would like to know anything else about it, let me know.

     
    Old 08-06-2008, 11:53 AM   #3
    esthero
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    Re: Swollen Parotid gland

    It's me again.
    Almost 3 months post-op.
    The eyebrow movement is back to normal. I can raise the left one on its own. It's great. I still cannot feel about 2/3 of my left ear. Part of my jawline feels numb still as well.

    The scar is faded by my ear since my ENT is also a plastic surgeon and pulled the skin tightly by the ear. You can see it still but you have to look closely. The part on my neck is as red as ever.

    I still cant blink my left eye even though i can shut it. Every night since my surgery and still now, i put this gel in it and tape it closed. It gets really really really dry. I hate part of it. I have myself convinced i will probably never be able to blink it again. Nothing surgical tape, gel and drops can't fix. Eye drops are my best friend.

    The worst thing about it, the right parotid gland is getting bad now. Same symptoms i had with my left one. bleh

     
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