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Information on removing the submandibular salivary gland (glandula submandibularis)


The purpose of this information is to inform you about the progress of this procedure. We ask that you read this document carefully. Your surgeon is at your disposal to answer any further questions you may have. Of course, it may be the case that certain aspects of this document are not applicable in your individual case or that more or more additions should be discussed with your surgeon. Remember to report to your surgeon all information regarding your general health, as well as any medications you regularly take (especially aspirin and related products or other medications that may affect clotting). Do not forget to report if you have experienced any allergic reactions, especially reactions to medication. Bring any recent medical records in your possession, such as blood results, radiologic and other preoperative exams.


There are 2 submaxillary glands, which together with the 2 parotid and sublingual glands form the six major salivary glands. Together with numerous smaller salivary glands, they ensure saliva production. Because of recurrent inflammation, whether or not due to salivary gland stones or a tumor in one of the submaxillary glands, it can be decided to remove the affected salivary gland.


Purpose of the procedure

Stones can be found in the gland or duct leading to the mouth that obstruct the flow of saliva. When these stones remain, chronic inflammation can develop. Also

without salivary stones, the submaxillary gland can become chronically inflamed. If removal of the stone by mouth has no effect or is not possible or if the pain and inflammations take on serious forms, a decision can be made to treat the affected person.

submandibular gland removal. A tumor of the lower jaw salivary gland is best removed, it can be seen as a malignant tumor.


The technical aspects of the operation

The submaxillary gland is removed under general anesthesia through a skin incision under the jawline. In this part runs a branch of the facial nerve, the tongue and the taste nerve. Every effort is made to conserve these structures. The operation ends with the placement of a wound drain and the suture of the wound. The duration of the procedure is one hour, the duration of admission is 2 to 3 days.  

The immediate consequences

The pain after the operation is usually rather minor, swelling can occur which after a few weeks

has disappeared. A significant swelling indicates inflammation or bruising. There may be bleeding from the wound. This usually happens shortly after the operation. Sometimes it is necessary to find the source of bleeding again under anesthesia and to burn the bleeding vessel shut. The wound drain usually has to be left in place for 24 hours and is then removed, which is sensitive. The incision under the jaw causes a numbness of the surgical site. This only decreases after a few months. Nerve damage can result from removal of the submaxillary gland. After the operation there may be a weakness in the mobility of the corner of the mouth. This usually improves after a few weeks. Rarely, this is permanent. The chance of damage to the nerves of the tongue is rather small.


The belated consequences

Nerve damage may be permanent with weakness in the movement of the corner of the mouth, or sensation, taste and movement of the tongue.


Serious and/or exceptional complications

Any surgical procedure, even performed under ideal conditions and in the best possible way, can entail complications. A permanent loss of the mandibular branch of the facial nerve can occur but is extremely rare. Phlegmon or abscess formation in the neck area is rare. All of these risks must be weighed against complications that may arise if surgical treatment is not initiated.

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