Parotid Surgery Postoperative Care Instructions

The parotid gland produces saliva to help with the digestion of food. Parotid gland surgery is performed to remove both benign and malignant tumors.

The Head and Neck Oncology team at the Mount Sinai Heath System has compiled the below postoperative care instructions for those undergoing a thyroidectomy. These are general instructions, and may be subject to change based on your medical history and condition.

After Parotid Surgery Care

Wound Care:  A little swelling or redness by the incision site is normal. It will improve over a few days. Keep the wound dry for the first 24 hours. Then you may gently cleanse the area daily with mild soap and water. 

Drain:  If you had a drain, gauze will be placed there with tape. You may change the dressing daily, or as needed, until the site is dry. Once dry, you may leave the site open and exposed to air.

Activity: You may resume your normal daily activities. However, no heavy lifting allowed (nothing greater than 10 lbs.).

Diet: You may resume your regular diet as tolerated.

What to expect: You may have a sore throat or a hoarse voice after surgery. You should drink plenty of fluids and it may be helpful to take throat lozenges to relieve your symptoms. Symptoms may persist for a few days after surgery, but will improve over time.

Shower: You may take a shower the day after surgery, unless otherwise indicated by your surgeon.

Pain: After surgery, you should only take Tylenol for pain or the medication prescribed by your surgeon. Do not take aspirin, aspirin containing products, ibuprofen, or herbal supplements for the first two weeks after surgery unless you are instructed otherwise. If you have any complaints of constipation, please take an over the counter stool softener.

Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do anything dangerous if you are taking narcotic pain medication (such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, etc.) This medication affects your reflexes and responses, just like alcohol.

Call Your Head and Neck Surgeon If You Have…

  1. Any concerns. We would much rather that you call your surgeon then worry at home, or get into trouble.
  2. Fever over 101.5 degrees F.
  3. Foul smelling discharge from your incision.
  4. More than expected swelling of your neck.
  5. Increase warmth or redness around the incision.
  6. Pain that continues to increase instead of decrease.
  7. Problem urinating.

If you have trouble breathing, you need to go directly to the Emergency Room without calling.

How to Contact Your Surgeon

For non-urgent inquiries, please call the Head and Neck Oncology offices during business hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday. If you need to speak with someone after 5pm or on a weekend, call the office, and the answering service will contact the doctor on-call to call you back.


Office Number

Raymond Chai, MD

(212) 844-8775

Eric Genden, MD

(212) 241-9410

Nazir Khan, MD

(212) 844-8775

Diana Kirke, MD


Brett Miles, MD

(212) 241-9410

Edward Shin, MD

(212) 979-4200

Catherine Sinclair, MD

(212) 262-4444

Marita Teng, MD

(212) 241-9410

Mark Urken, MD

(212) 844-8775

Please note, pathology results are generally not available until 7-10 business days after your procedure. Results will be discussed in the office during your post-op visit.