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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. :)