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Results of surgery

Inevitably, legal issues in parotid surgery largely turn on the important issue of the facial nerve. It is essential for patients undergoing parotid surgery to be aware of the risk to the nerve. It is also essential that surgeons performing such operations are well-trained and experienced in the procedures. Increasingly, there is a tendency for parotid surgery to be performed by a smaller number of surgeons than hitherto, and this is an excellent trend, although it does not have any firm legal implications as yet. The use of a nerve stimulator should really be seen as mandatory now for all parotid surgery, and a surgeon who injured the nerve while operating without a nerve stimulator would find his position hard to defend. The same does not apply to the use of a nerve monitor as yet.