There are two techniques for excising a parotid gland tumor. The first technique is the anterograde approach, and the second is the retrograde approach. Although the anterograde approach has generally been adopted, the retrograde approach may be useful depending on the identification and dissection of the facial nerve and the localization of the tumor. We reviewed 35 patients who were surgically treated with a parotidectomy using the retrograde approach between 2002 and 2012 at Tenri Hospital. We also reviewed the clinical records for evidence of temporary or definitive injury to the facial nerve. In eases where the identification of the main nerve trunk was expected to be difficult, the parotidectomy was performed using the retrograde approach guided by the mandibular branch. In cases where a tumor was located in the marginal region of the parotid gland, the retrograde approach was guided by the mandibular branch or the zygomatic branch. Of the 35 patients, 17 underwent the retrograde approach guided by the mandibular branch and 18 underwent this approach guided by the zygomatic branch. The mean surgical time and amount of bleeding using the retrograde approach were 70.7 minutes and 33.9 g, respectively. Two of the 35 patients in the retrograde group exhibited a temporary facial deficit.
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