Factors influencing sialocele or salivary fistula formation postparotidectomy

Christopher J. Britt*, Andrew P. Stein, Thomas Gessert, Zach Pflum, Sandeep Saha, Gregory K. Hartig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Does the extent of parotidectomy or other patient or tumor characteristics influence the rate of sialocele/salivary fistula formation?. Methods: All patients who underwent parotidectomy at the University of Wisconsin from 1994 to 2013 were considered. Patients who developed a sialocele/salivary fistula were identified. Extent of dissection, age, sex, body mass index (BMI), volume of specimen, and rate of malignancy were examined. Results: Seventy of 771 patients (9.1%) developed a sialocele/salivary fistula. Sixty-seven fistulae (96%) developed within 1 month and all resolved by 6 months. Age, sex, pathology, and BMI were not increased in the sialocele group. Inferior and middle superficial parotidectomy had a significantly higher rate of sialocele than other extents of dissection. Volume of tissue removed was not significantly different between dissection groups. Conclusion: Sialocele/salivary fistula is common postparotidectomy and is more likely with inferior and middle superficial parotidectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • parotidectomy
  • postoperative complications
  • salivary fistula
  • sialocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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