Freys syndrome (gustatory sweating) is frequently noted as complication of surgery to the parotid gland. It is characterized by sweating while eating and facial flushing. It was first reported by Lucie Frey in 1923. The aim of this review was to determine the effect and safety of different types of grafts for the prevention of Frey syndrome after parotidectomy.
The Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Embase, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched together with relevant journals and the reference lists of the included studies. Randomised controlled trials (RCT) studying the effect and safety of different types of grafts for preventing Frey syndrome after parotidectomy were included. Studies were assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration’s risk of bias tool.
- 14 trials (1,098 participants) were included. All the trials had an unclear risk of bias.
- Nine studies were involved in the comparison of the acellular dermis matrix graft (ADMG) versus no graft with meta-analysis showing that the use ADMG can reduce by 82% the risk of Freys syndrome compared with the no-graft group using an objective assessment (relative risk [RR] 0.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.12 to 0.26; P < .00001.
- Six studies with an objective assessment of Freys syndrome compared the muscle flap graft versus no graft, with meta-analysis showing that the use of muscle flaps could reduce 81% of the risk of Freys syndrome compared with no graft (RR 0.19, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.27; P<.00001).
- Only 1 study compared the acellular dermis matrix graft with the muscle flaps flap with the results showing no statistical significance between the 2 grafts.
The authors concluded
The present clinical evidence suggests that grafts are effective in preventing Frey syndrome after parotidectomy. More randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm our conclusions and prove the safety of the grafts.
Li C, Yang X, Pan J, Shi Z, Li L. Graft for Prevention of Frey Syndrome After Parotidectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22884117.