What is a submandibular gland excision?
A submandibular gland excision is a surgical procedure whereby the submandibular gland is removed. This gland is one of the three major salivary glands. This procedure is performed if the gland has an abnormal growth in it or if it has stones in them that cannot be removed by other means.
How does the procedure work?
For this procedure, the patient is placed under general anaesthetic. An incision is made just below the jawline through which the excision of the gland is performed. This has to be done very carefully to avoid any important structures such as the marginal mandibular nerve which helps move the muscle of the corner of the mouth. Once the gland has been removed, the wound is closed with dissolvable sutures and a drain is left to monitor for post-operative bleeding.
Why is it performed?
Submandibular gland excision is performed if an abnormal growth is detected. These growths are usually benign, but can on occasion be mailgnant. The submandibular gland can also be excised if there are stones in the ducts that cannot be removed by other means causing obstruction, pain and swelling of the gland (particulary after meals).
How should I prepare for the procedure?
Submandibular gland excision is always performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. You will be given specific instructions before your date of surgery instructing you when to stop eating/drinking and specific medication that may be needed before or after surgery.
What can I expect after the surgery?
After the surgery you will be closely monitored on the ward. We pay very careful attention to managing your pain after the procedure. A small drain is left in the wound after surgery to monitor for post-operative bleeding. This is usally removed the day after surgery before being discharged.