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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A parotidectomy is surgery to remove part or all of your parotid gland. Your parotid glands are found in your cheeks, over your jaw, and in front of your ears. They release saliva into your mouth through the parotid duct. Saliva helps break down food and protect your teeth.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how to take this medicine safely.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or surgeon as directed:
You may need to return to have your stitches removed or imaging tests done. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your wound as directed. You may need to carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Eat a variety of healthy foods:
Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
Drink liquids as directed:
Ask your PHP how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. This will help flush your mouth and keep your saliva flowing.
Contact your PHP or surgeon if:
- You have a fever.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- Your pain does not get better, even after you take medicine.
- Your face becomes red and sweaty when you eat.
- You have new trouble chewing.
- Your mouth and eyes are very dry.
- You feel a new lump in your face or neck.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- You have trouble swallowing.
- You have sudden numbness in your face.
- You have severe pain.
- You cannot move part of your face.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.