June 1958

Surgical Parotitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(6):863-867. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280240021003

Surgical parotitis is an acute inflammation of the parotid gland, either unilateral or bilateral, occurring most frequently after surgical procedures. Although it is an infrequent and unexpected complication, it is quite alarming when it does occur. In the past it has carried a high mortality rate and has been regarded in the literature as a grave prognostic sign.

It has long been known that patients developing parotitis1 were usually seriously ill, in poor general condition, dehydrated, undernourished, and with poor oral hygiene. A dry mouth and a decreased salivary secretion seems to be the principal precursor to the onset of the disease. The highest incidence has occurred after abdominal or genitourinary tract surgery. In 1927 Rankin and Palmer2 reported a series of 78 cases, 20 of which followed surgery of the rectum or colon. Gustafson,3 in 1951, reported 80 cases from the University of Michigan from 1932

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