Introduction Most patients after either superficial or total parotidectomy develop facial deformity and Frey syndrome, which leads to a significant degree of patient dissatisfaction.
Objective Assess the functional outcome and esthetic results of the superiorly based sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) flap after superficial or total parotidectomy.
Methods A prospective cohort study for 11 patients subjected to parotidectomy using a partial-thickness superiorly based SCM flap. The functional outcome (Frey syndrome, facial nerve involvement, and ear lobule sensation) and the esthetic results were evaluated subjectively and objectively.
Results Facial nerve palsy occurred in 5 cases (45%), and all of them recovered completely within 6 months. The Minor starch iodine test was positive in 3 patients (27%), although only 1 (9%) subjectively complained of gustatory sweating. The designed visual analog score completed by the patients themselves ranged from 0 to 3 with a mean of 1.55 ± 0.93; the scores from the blinded evaluators ranged from 1 to 3 with a mean 1.64 ± 0.67.
Conclusion The partial-thickness superiorly based SCM flap offers a reasonable cosmetic option for reconstruction following either superficial or total parotidectomy by improving the facial deformity. The flap also lowers the incidence of Frey syndrome objectively and subjectively with no reported hazard of the spinal accessory nerve.