The use of acellular dermis in the prevention of frey’s syndrome

Satish Govindaraj, Michael Cohen, Eric M. Genden, Peter D. Costantino, Mark L. Urken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Educational Objective At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant should be able to discuss the indications and advantages of using acellular dermis in the prevention of post-parotidectomy gustatory sweating (Frey's Syndrome). Introduction Gustatory sweating is a common postoperative problem and a challenge to treat. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of acellular dermis in preventing post-parotidectomy gustatory sweating. Methods Sixty-four patients were randomly assigned to two groups. Group I consisted of 32 patients who underwent a superficial lobe parotidectomy. Group II consisted of 32 patients who underwent a superficial lobe parotidectomy and underwent intraoperative placement of acellular dermis within the parotid bed, between the skin flap and the remaining parotid tissue. The implanted volume of acellular dermis was determined by the amount required to aesthetically restore lateral facial contour. All 64 patients were evaluated for gustatory sweating by identical phone and mail questionnaires. Thirty randomly chosen patients (group I = 15, group II = 15) were evaluated using a modified Minor's Starch-Iodine Test (MSIT). In all 30 patients, the MSIT was administered to both sides of the face. Results The responses to questionnaires (N = 64) demonstrated the subjective presence of gustatory sweating in 3 of 32 patients (9.3%) in group I, whereas group II demonstrated a subjective incidence in 1 of 32 patients (3.1%). The objective incidence determined by those who underwent the MSIT (n = 30) revealed a 40% (6) and 0% incidence of Frey's Syndrome in groups I and II, respectively. The complication rate in group I was 9% (3 seromas) and in group II it was 25% (7 seromas and 1 wound infection). Conclusions Acellular dermis appears to be an effective method for preventing post-parotidectomy gustatory sweating, despite its higher complication rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-1998
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2001


  • Acellular dermis
  • Frey’s Syndrome
  • Gustatory sweating


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