How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 36158
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Chip is online now

Hi, I have an pleomorphic adenoma which has stayed the same

This answer was rated:

Hi, I have an pleomorphic adenoma which has stayed the same size for the past 4 years. My consultant has advised me to have it removed. However he cannot guarantee that my appearance wont be changed due to nerve damage. I have suffered from depression for years. My job requires that I meet the public on a daily basis and I am afraid that if my appearance has altered due to nerve damage that I wont be able to work again because of issues about how I look. My question is if I leave this growth on my salivary gland and dont have an operation what are the chances that it will turn cancerous. Please help, thank you, Judy
Hi Judy--can I ask exactly what your consultant has said about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, he has basically said that it could grow larger and possibly cause problems. He has not said outright that it could turn malignant. I am not on private health insurance and I feel a little fobbed off and get the distinct impression that he doesn't want to spend to much time answering my questions. To make me more confused my GP who I have been attending since I was 17 has told me it's better to leave well alone as its not causing me any problems.

OK Judy. Not an easy question to answer here. Considering it's been stable for four years there isn't much chance it's going to grow larger or to become malignant, so I would advise you, if you were my patient, just to have it followed closely. That said, since the chance of it's becoming malignant isn't zero one could argue that it should be removed even if that chance is very small. So the decision has to be left to you unfortunately, since I can't tell you you have to make a choice now. It would be best for you to get a second opinion here just to have more facts at hand.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I suppose my underlying query is considering that I have worked hard to manage my depression for the past 40 years and so much of that is caught up in the image I present to the world. Is it worth putting that in jeopardy if the result is that I am left too fragile after surgery to face people. Sorry if I seem so shallow but believe me I have battled very bad depression all my life and have tried to be self reliant. I am scared that this surgery will leave me in a bad place. Thank you. Judy

Not a shallow question at all Judy. While often the surgery completely avoids any facial nerve damage, it can never be guaranteed. Even with your image concern my answer would still be the same--I myself would tell you not to have the surgery for now
Dr. Chip and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. Just one more question. Lately I have felt some pressure where the lump is located and I find that I dribble some saliva occasionally when speaking Is this something to be concerned about? Or is it because the lump is pressing on the facial nerve?

Sorry for the delay Judy. Nothing to be concerned about. That's not from pressure on the facial nerve. Let me know how it goes for you and remember to rate my service to you