To conduct a meta-analysis of the literature on surgical methods for the prevention of Frey syndrome and concave facial deformity after parotidectomy.
A PubMed search through February 2008 identified more than 60 English-language studies involving surgical techniques for prevention of these parameters. Analyzed works included 15 retrospective or prospective controlled studies reporting quantitative data for all included participants for 1 or more of the measured parameters in patients who had undergone parotidectomy. Report quality was assessed by the strength of taxonomy recommendation (SORT) score. Data were directly extracted from reports and dichotomized into positive and negative outcomes. The statistical significance was then calculated.
The mean SORT score for all studies was 2.34, and the mean SORT score for all the analyzed studies was 1.88. Meta-analysis for multiple techniques to prevent symptomatic Frey syndrome, positive starch-iodine test results, and contour deformity favored intervention with a cumulative odds ratio (OR) of 3.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.81-5.34); OR, 3.66 (95% CI; 2.32-5.77); and OR, 5.25 (95% CI, 3.57-7.72), respectively.
Meta-analysis of operative techniques to prevent symptomatic Frey syndrome, positive starch-iodine test results, and facial asymmetry suggests that such methods are likely to reduce the incidence of these complications after parotidectomy.