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2018 | 72(4) | 9-16
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Surgical treatment results of parapharyngeal space tumors: a report of 22 cases

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Introduction: Parapharyngeal space (PPS) is the anatomical area lateral to the upper pharynx and clinically important due to PPS tumors. They account for less than 1% of head and neck neoplasms. Both benign and malignant neoplasms may arise there and typical for this localization is diversity of histological origin. Complete surgical excision is still the basis of treatment. Aim of the study: Evaluation of the results of surgical treatment of PPS tumors in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Medical University over the period 2015–2017. Material and methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records including complaints, physical examination, results of imaging studies, surgical approach, postoperative complication and histopathological results in 22 patients with a diagnosis of a PPS tumors. Results: The most frequent complaints reported by the patients were: discomfort in the throat, dysphagia, hearing disorders and a palpable tumor on the neck. Asymptomatic course of the disease was demonstrated in 4 cases. All patients were treated surgically: 2 with transoral approach, 9 with transparotid-transcervical approach, 11 with transcervical approach. In most cases the tumor was removed radically. In 2 patients intracapsular tumor resection was performed. Based on histopathological examination the benign lesions dominated (18/22). In 4 cases malignant neoplasms were diagnosed: carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma and two cases of squamous cell carcinoma. The most common origin of PPS tumors was deep lobe of parotid gland and for this group 11 patients had diagnosis of pleomorphic adenoma. Other diagnosis included: paraganglioma, neurofibroma, hemangioma, lymphangioma and rhabdomyoma. Postoperative complications occurred in 9 patients and presented as hoarseness and dysphagia due to paresis of the lower group of cranial nerves (IX, X, XII). Significant intraoperative bleeding during surgery occurred in 2 cases and ligation of the external carotid artery was necessary. Conclusion: Due to the anatomical topography of PPS and its content with the essential vessels and the lower group of cranial nerves, the surgical treatment of pathology of this area is still a challenge for head and neck surgeons. The decrease of voice quality and impaired speech and swallowing should always be considered as complications post the surgical resection in PPS.
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