Objective: There is a current paucity of large-scale, multi-institutional studies that explore the risk factors for major complications following parotidectomy. Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program participant use file was reviewed to identify all patients who had undergone parotidectomy between 2006 and 2011. Risk factors that predicted adverse events were estimated by using multivariate logistic regression. Results: Of 2919 included patients, 202 patients experienced adverse outcomes within the first 30 days of surgery. These included surgical complications in 76 (2.6%) patients; medical complications in 90 (3.1%) patients; death in 7 (0.2%) patients; and reoperation in 77 (2.6%) patients. Predictors of any complication included disseminated cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-4.95; P =.036) and increasing total relative value units (OR = 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.02; P =.027). Active smoking was a major risk factor for surgical complications (OR = 1.81; 95% CI, 1.08-3.05; P =.025). Dyspnea (OR = 2.93; 95% CI, 1.37-6.27; P =.006) significantly predicted medical complications. Conclusion: Although complication rates after parotidectomy are generally low, avoidance of specific and nonspecific postoperative complications still remains an area for improvement. Future outcomes databases should include procedure-specific complications, including facial nerve injury.
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