From transmandibular to transoral robotic approach for parapharyngeal space tumors

Francesco Chu, Marta Tagliabue, Gioacchino Giugliano, Luca Calabrese, Lorenzo Preda, Mohssen Ansarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Parapharyngeal space (PPS) tumors are rare, accounting for 0.5% of all head-and-neck masses. Surgery remains the standard treatment for most cases, including different approaches (cervical approach, parotidectomy, mandibulotomy, transoral/robotic). We report our experience in the management of PPS tumors, aiming to create a surgical algorithm on the base of tumor's radiological and clinical characteristics. Materials and methods Critical retrospective analysis of patients with PPS neoplasms who underwent surgery at our Institute. Data were collected on patient age and sex, tumor location and size, preoperative investigations, surgical approaches, histopathology, complications and outcomes. Results Between January 2000 and July 2015, 53 patients were treated at our Institute. Salivary gland tumors were the most common neoplasms followed by neurogenic tumors. CT scan/MRI were the most used preoperative imaging studies. The cervical approach with or without parotidectomy is the most used, providing the best compromise between the need for radicality and low risk of damage to the neurovascular structures. Mandibulotomy is used whenever the mass extends to the cranial base, assuming a higher morbidity, a slower functional recovery and the need for tracheotomy. Recently, TORS has been used for tumors of the PPS with promising outcomes. Conclusions PPS surgery includes a wide spectrum of approaches but it is still a matter of debate which one guarantees better functional and oncological outcomes. We report a surgical algorithm based on surgical invasiveness and tumor characteristics to standardize PPS tumors management. We also highlight the upcoming role of TORS in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-379
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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