Oncology letters

Surgical treatment of parapharyngeal space tumors: A report of 29 cases.

PMID 28927073


The present study aimed to establish a strategy for parapharyngeal space (PPS) tumor surgery based on preoperative symptoms, clinical signs, imaging and histological examination. A retrospective cohort study was conducted with 29 adult patients who underwent surgery for primary PPS tumors from 2008-2015. The following data was obtained: Preoperative symptoms of the patient, histological type of the tumor, surgical approach and complications. Of the 29 patients who underwent surgery to remove a PPS tumor, 16 presented with neurogenic tumors and 13 with salivary gland tumors. The most common symptom was the presence of a neck mass. Preoperative computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were performed to evaluate the size and location of the tumors. The majority of the salivary gland tumors were located in the prestyloid space, whereas all neurogenic tumor cases were poststyloid. A total of 21 of the 29 patients (72.4%) underwent a preoperative fine needle aspiration (FNAC) examination. FNAC contributed to preoperative diagnosis in 9 of these cases (42.9%). In parotid tumors of the prestyloid space, facial nerve palsy was a common postoperative complication. In the case of neurogenic tumors, a common complication was the postoperative palsy of the nerve of tumor origin. The strategy for PPS surgery, from the preoperative diagnosis to the operative method, remains controversial. The data on pre- and postoperative symptoms, imaging and histological diagnosis, and the selection of surgical method depending on a neurogenic or salivary tumor origin in the present study indicated that improving the method of examination, carefully selecting the method of approach and accurately managing surgery leads to complete tumor removal, and that the use of nerve-preserving techniques may reduce the likelihood of complications.