The Parotid Gland

The parotid glands are the largest salivary glands, located on either side of the mouth in front of both ears. They are about as large as the muscle that operates your jaw. The purpose of the parotid gland is to produce saliva to aid in mastication and swallowing and to begin the breakdown of starches. The parotid glands are supplied by blood and nerves and drains into the lymphatic system. Each parotid gland consists of two lobes

Issues With Parotid Gland

Problems with the parotid gland are rare, but can happen as a result of a variety of things. The most obvious issues result in swelling of the gland and may be caused by:

Polycystic Parotid Disease
Salivary Stones
Injury or Facial Trauma
Bacterial Infections


A parotidectomy is the surgical removal of a tumor in the parotid gland. While the surgery is considered a minor surgery, skill, precision, and experience are critical to performing this surgical intervention. Great precision is required to avoid damage to the facial nerve that controls your ability to close your eyes, raise your eyebrows, and smile.

Superficial Parotidectomy

A superficial parotidectomy is the removal of the superficial lobe of the parotid gland. This is the preferred procedure if the tumor is isolated to the superficial parotid gland. The incision will begin at the ear and follow the jawline to minimize facial scarring.

Total Parotidectomy

A total parotidectomy is the removal of the deep lobe and/or the superficial lobe, depending on where the cancer or tumor is located. The procedure is similar to a superficial parotidectomy, but involves the removal of more gland tissue.

Parotidectomy at Alpine ENT

At Alpine ENT, we have a team of experienced ENT and head and neck surgeons who can perform your parotidectomy and other ENT interventions you require. For issues with your parotid gland, contact us to schedule an evaluation in Fort Collins, Loveland, or Cheyenne.

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