Question: I have had Parotitis (Mumps) for almost a month. I have a huge lump on my left side of face/neck and it is extremely painful especially at night. I have finished taking antibiotics for 10 days and the lump has not gotten any smaller. Is surgery the only thing left to do to get rid of the remaining parotid gland swelling?
Answer: Mumps is generally a childhood illness that causes swelling in salivary glands, especially the parotid gland (parotitis). It can occur at any age. Mumps is caused by the mumps virus and would not respond to antibiotics. Today, because of the mumps vaccine, it is unusual in the United States. Mumps generally is self limited and will last for a week to ten days. There are many other possible causes of parotid gland swelling (parotitis)- including other viral infections. Parotitis for a month unlikely to be uncomplicated mumps.
More common today than mumps are bacterial infections of the parotid gland. One can have swelling from bacterial infections of the parotid gland- from stones, blocking the drainage of the gland, as well as from a small abscess around an area of infection. Additionally, unfortunately, one can have tumors- most often benign, of the salivary gland that cause a persistent swelling in the gland.
It seems unlikely that you have mumps causing your persistent problem.
I would suggest an evaluation by an otolaryngologist- if you’re in the NY area, we would be happy to help you-
Robert Pincus MD
Asssociate Professor Otolaryngology
NY Medical College
NY Sinus Center