Recurrent pleomorphic adenomas (RPAs) of the parotid gland are an uncommon but challenging problem. The records of 31 patients with RPAs were reviewed to assess the clinical presentation and treatment results. More than half of these patients underwent total parotidectomy. Local control was achieved in 94% of patients at 7 years (median follow-up 7.3 years). Patients who had surgery for recurrence after a formal parotidectomy were more likely to have another recurrence (63% local control at 7 years) than patients whose initial procedure was a limited excision (100% local control at 7 years; P < 0.01). Better local control was seen in 11 patients who received postoperative irradiation (100% at 10 years) than in 20 patients who did not (71% at 10 years; P < 0.28). Adequate surgical resection yields an acceptable local control rate in patients with RPAs. Postoperative radiation therapy may improve control in patients at high risk for another recurrence.