This 68 year-old woman presented with a painless, slowly-growing, cystic mass in the tail of her left parotid. In this surgical picture, normal parotid tissue is visible between the retracted ear lobe and the bluish cyst. Also, visible is the ground electrode of the facial nerve stimulator which is helful in localizing the facial nerve branches. Histologic examination revealed a benign cyst.
Cysts of the parotid gland are not uncommon. They account for 2 to 5 % of all parotid gland lesions and can appear at any age.
Patients who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may develop benign lymphoepithelial cysts within the parotid gland. Some have advocated the treatment of HIV-related cysts with radiation.
This other patient also noticed a painless slowly-growing mass in the tail of the left parotid gland.
A CT scan of the neck confirmed the presence of an 18 x 15 mm cyst in the tail of the left parotid.
This intraoperative picture shows a thin-walled, bluish cyst within the substance of the tail of the parotid gland. Once the branches of the facial nerve are identified, these cysts usually shell out easily.