Objectives: We describe our experience with the postoperative sequelae, complications, and recurrences associated with resection of a series of parapharyngeal space (PPS) tumors via a transcervical approach without submandibular gland excision, parotidectomy, or mandibulotomy. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 51 cases, 40 of which were pleomorphic adenomas and 11 of which were lipomas or schwannomas. Results: Of 30 fine-needle aspirations performed, 24 indicated pleomorphic adenoma before operation. Twenty-eight of the 30 fine-needle aspirations yielded diagnoses that were consistent with the final pathologic diagnoses. The average hospital stay was 1.05 days. After operation, there were 9 cases of trismus, 4 cases of "first bite" pain, and 7 cases of transient marginal nerve weakness. There were no recurrences over an average follow-up of 115 months. Conclusions: The majority of PPS tumors are benign. It is important to use an approach that allows complete tumor excision but does not impart undue postoperative morbidity. We demonstrate that the transcervical approach without submandibular gland excision, parotidectomy, or mandibulotomy is ideal for benign PPS tumors.
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