The Parapharyngeal Space: Tumors and Surgical Approaches
E. Raveh, R. Sadov, B. Nageris, R. Feinmesser
Dept. of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva
The potential parapharyngeal space contains the great vessels of the neck, cranial nerves IX-XII, the sympathetic chain and lymph nodes. Surgical access is difficult and the infrequency of tumors in it make surgery of this part of the head and neck a challenge. 8 women and 2 men (mean age 54.7, range 31-70 years) with tumors of the parapharyngeal space operated on during the past 6 years are presented. The most common surgical approach was the cervical submandibular, used in 6 of our patients with relative ease and minimal complications. Tumors of deep lobe parotid origin should be operated through a transparotid approach. Large benign or malignant tumors have a better prognosis when the transcervical transmandibular approach is used, providing wider access.