October 1964

Postoperative Suppurative Parotitis

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, University of Miami Medical School.

Arch Surg. 1964;89(4):653-655. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320040069010

The incidence of postoperative suppurative parotitis, thought a few years ago to be decreasing, may be increasing. When it occurs, it continues to be a serious complication with a high mortality rate that is shared between it and the primary disease. Recent reviews indicate a mortality rate of approximately 20% and an incidence rate of one in every 1,000 postoperative cases.1,2

Patients with major abdominal surgery, fractured hip, debilitating disease, and severe injuries are among the most commonly afflicted with this problem. In addition, poor oral hygiene, dehydration, and the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus continue to be incriminated in the majority of cases.1,3,4

Clinical Course  Parotitis is usually first suspected when the patient complains of pain in the parotid region. The pain is unilateral but may become bilateral in a short period of time. Initially, inspection will show the gland to be slightly swollen and gentle palpation will

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