Wednesday, June 3, 2009
That explains it....
Lebron James underwent what sounds like a superficial parotidectomy yesterday at the Cleveland Clinic (see, I don't always call it the evil empire). The parotid glands are the largest salivary glands in the body, located anterior to the ears. Most parotid tumors are benign but they tend to grow and can cause unsightly cheek bulges (and rarely can devolve into malignant tumors over time). So surgical intervention is generally recommended.
It's a dicey case, however. I don't do parotidectomies. The gland is bisected by the diaphonous fibers of the branching facial nerve. A superficial parotidectomy involves meticulously dissecting half the gland off all five branches of the nerve. You bag even one branch and the patient ends up with a saggy eyelid or she can't smile properly. I remember as a resident operating on a woman who was literally a professional clown. She and her husband did kid's birthday parties. Nobody likes a frowny, squinty clown, right?
Anyway, rather than lumping our latest collective failure into the Cleveland Sports Jinx, I'm going to go ahead and attribute our ouster at the hands of the Orlando Magic to Lebron's swollen parotid. Better that than give props to the likes of Dwight Howard or the ghastly Hedu Turkoglu.