Pet Owners

Parotid Duct Transposition

What is a Parotid Duct Transposition

This is a surgical procedure used to treat cases of dry eye that are unresponsive to medical treatment and whose ocular discomfort is affecting their quality of life.

It is performed under general anaesthesia and involves the delicate process of relocating the parotid salivary duct. This requires specific equipment and magnification in order to be performed.

The parotid duct is the narrow tube which normally transports saliva from the parotid salivary gland to the inside of the mouth. Surgery relocates the duct so that it transports saliva to the surface of the eye in order to improve moisture levels and patient comfort. Two techniques can be used; the open technique which involves making a skin incision on the side of the face, or the closed technique which is performed from inside of the mouth. Your veterinary ophthalmologist will discuss the options with you prior to surgery.

Due to the delicate nature of the surgery, only 1 eye is operated on at a time. Your ophthalmologist will decide which eye is to be operated on first based on the clinical needs of the patient.

What is the success rate?

The success rate of the surgery is approximately 90%. The main causes of failure include intolerance to saliva or failure of the duct to supply saliva to the surface of the eye.

Post-operative complications

It has been reported that 50% of cases will experience one or more of the following complications following surgery:

  • Dermatitis due to excessive saliva production
  • Increased corneal pigmentation (darkening)
  • Corneal ulceration

It is accepted that all cases will experience some degree of calcium deposition on the surface of the eye.

Will my pet still need eye drops?

Yes. Long term eye drops will be required in order to minimise the calcium deposition on the surface of the eye and reduce ongoing inflammation (keratitis). The number of medications will vary between patients and will be tailored to each individual.

Please do not hesitate to contact Eye Vet should you have any concerns following treatment.