Surgical management of parapharyngeal space tumors

Toshiki Tomita, Kaoru Ogawa, Takamasa Tagawa, Masato Fujii, Hideo Nameki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Despite its rarity, information on the diagnosis of parapharyngeal space tumors such as through imaging and aspiration biopsy cytology, is slowly accumulating. Little detailed examination has been conducted, however, on surgical approach, complications, and sequelae. We report the results of a retrospective review of 27 patients with primary parapharyngeal space tumors-25 with benign disease and 2 with malignant lesions-treated surgically. Surgical approach, postoperative complications, sequelae, and operative indications of parapharyngeal space tumors were examined in 28 operations on the 27 patients. Tumors found in the prestyloid region in CT or MRI are treated as salivary gland or malignant tumors. Those found in the poststyloid region are treated as shwannoma or paraganglioma. The transcervical approach is often used in patients with shwannoma, while a variety of approaches are selected for patients with salivary gland tumors. Complications occur in 50% of patients, however, bias based on pathological diagnosis has not been examined to the degree needed. Sequelae in our series occurred in 46.4% of our patients. Sequela in the patients with shwannoma, however, is 81.8%, compared to 9.1% in patients with salivary gland tumors. Prestyloid parapharyngeal space tumors seem to be "automatically" indicated for surgery, because the surgical risk is lower than the risk of inaction. In poststyloid parapharyngeal space tumors, however, it appears necessary to judge indication for surgery more carefully while considering the social background, age, and occupation of prospective surgical candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology of Japan
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Complication
  • Parapharyngeal space tumor
  • Pleomorphic adenoma
  • Shwannoma
  • Surgical approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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