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October 1997

Clinical Outcome of Continuous Facial Nerve Monitoring During Primary Parotidectomy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Drs Terrell, Kileny, Bradford, and Wolf); Washington University, St Louis, Mo (Dr Yian); The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Esclamado); and the Ann Arbor Health Services Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, Ann Arbor, Mich (Dr Terrell and Mr Pillsbury).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(10):1081-1087. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900100055008

Objectives:  To assess whether continuous facial nerve monitoring during parotidectomy is associated with a lower incidence of facial nerve paresis or paralysis compared with parotidectomy without monitoring and to assess the cost of such monitoring.

Design:  A retrospective analysis of outcomes for patients who underwent parotidectomy with or without continuous facial nerve monitoring.

Setting:  University medical center.

Patients:  Fifty-six patients undergoing parotidectomy in whom continuous electromyographic monitoring was used and 61 patients in whom it was not used.

Main Outcome Measures:  (1) The incidence of early and persistent facial nerve paresis or paralysis and (2) the cost associated with facial nerve monitoring.

Results:  Early, unintentional facial weakness was significantly lower in the group monitored by electromyograpy (43.6%) than in the unmonitored group (62.3%) (P=.04). In the subgroup of patients without comorbid conditions or surgeries, early weakness in the monitored group (33.3%) remained statistically lower than the rate of early weakness in the unmonitored group (57.5%) (P=.03). There was no statistical difference in the final facial nerve function or incidence of permanent nerve injury between the groups or subgroups. After multivariate analysis, nonmonitored status (odds ratio [OR], 3.22), advancing age (OR, 1.47 per 10 years), and longer operative times (OR, 1.3 per hour) were the only significant independent predictive variables significantly associated with early postoperative facial weakness. The incremental cost of facial nerve monitoring was $379.

Conclusions:  The results suggest that continuous electromyographic monitoring of facial muscle during primary parotidectomy reduces the incidence of shortterm postoperative facial paresis. Advantages and disadvantages of this technique need to be considered together with the additional costs in deciding whether routine use of continuous monitoring is a useful, cost-effective adjunct to parotid surgery.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;157:1081-1087

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