• orientate the specimen. The medial aspect is usually the most critical margin. The surgeon should give some indications on the request form but it can still be difficult particularly with fragmented specimens. Superficial parotidectomy specimens usually resemble an isosceles triangle; the smoothest surface will represent the superficial aspect and the shortest side the superior aspect of the gland. The markings of the mandibular ramus and/or mastoid process may be present. If separate from the superficial portion, the deep lobe may be impossible to orientate. The superficial lobe of the submandibular gland has a smooth capsular surface while the irregular edge and the indentation of mylohyoid identify the deep aspect.

• ink sparingly and allow to dry fully - gelatinous pleomorphic adenomas often separate easily from the thin capsule and overrun of ink will overestimate involvement of the surgical limits.

• measurements:

- dimensions of tumour (cm).

- distance to closest margin.


• tumour gland other location (deep lobe or superficial lobe). consistency of tumour (solid/cystic; gelatinous, fleshy, firm). interface with adjacent parenchyma (encapsulated, circumscribed or infiltrative margin).

if encapsulated, proportion of capsule exposed on outer surface of specimen.

parenchyma - normal, fibrotic or fatty.

note the presence of stones and lymph nodes.

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