|More Questions on Benign Parotid Hyperplasia
Feb 2, 2005
I have been HIV positive for twenty years, and on antiretrovirals for about twelve. Six or so years ago my parotids became enlarged and I was diagnosed with mumps. However the swelling has never gone down. It's not hugely disfiguring, but it has changed the shape of my face and I am moderately distressed by it. I have seen a radiation oncologist, and had a CT Scan. It shows diffuse enlargement (non cystic). He is recommending low dose radiation treatment, if I want it. I am having a hard time deciding, weighing up my cosmetic concerns against the risk of having the procedure. I have read some of your previous answers and still have some questions: 1) Is the radiation effective if the enlargement is not cystic? 2) Is there a chance of one side responding and not the other, leaving me with an asymmetrical face? 3) What is the known risk of radiation causing a malignancy down the line. While I know it hasn't been used for this problem for very long, I know radiation has been used for years for parotid fistulae and wonder what the follow up there has shown. 4) Is there a doctor you can refer me to who has had some experience in this area? I would like a second opinion. I remember reading in Body Positive about a doctor in LA who is doing radiation for parotid enlargement frequently. I can't find her name.
Thank you very much.
Response from Dr. Henry
I have had numerous patients develop polycystic enlargement of their parotids. Many of those have undergone low-dose radiation to their parotid glands with good results. Sometimes the swelling has recurred and the radiation was repeated. Other than dry mouth in some patients I have not observed other serious side effects. KH
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