There are several groups of salivary glands that are located in the mouth, one of which is the submandibular gland.
This gland is designed to empty saliva into the the floor of a person’s mouth. Even though these ducts are small, there’s still a possibility that a tumor could develop in the gland. When this occurs, the primary treatment solution available to you is a submandibular gland resection.
What Is a Submandibular Gland Resection?
This type of surgery is used to treat a variety of issues that can affect the submandibular gland, the primary of which is the presence of a tumor. While this treatment is mainly used for the removal of a tumor, it can also be administered as a means of removing a salivary stone or treating a chronic infection of the gland. This type of surgery is somewhat unique in that it removes the entire gland in which the tumor is situated or the infection has occurred. While this surgery removes an entire gland, it does not adversely affect your ability to produce saliva at the floor of your mouth since there is more than one submandibular gland.
What to Expect During the Procedure
This procedure is largely straightforward and begins with a dose of general anesthesia that will put you to sleep while the treatment is ongoing. The incision for the submandibular gland resection occurs along the neck. The surgery is delicate because the surgeon will need to protect a couple surrounding nerves while removing the gland. The platysma muscle that controls lower lip movement will also be cut during the procedure so that the surgeon can reach the gland. It usually takes a few weeks following the treatment for this muscle to recover properly. Once the gland has been effectively removed, a drain will be placed in the area to remove any accumulated blood. Once the drain is removed, the incisions are closed and recovery can begin.
Potential Risks of a Submandibular Gland Resection
Before you schedule this surgery, there are several risks that you should keep in mind, the primary of which include bleeding, a seroma, sensory issues with the tongue, and the development of an infection. It’s also possible that you could experience problems with your general tongue movements, which can occur if the hypoglossal nerve has been adversely affected in any way during the treatment. Look out for facial nerve injuries and the development of a sialocele as well.
The recovery process for a submandibular gland resection depends on how extensive the treatment was. You’ll likely be able to leave the hospital on the same day as the treatment took place. If any complications occur, your hospital stay could extend by a couple days. When you’re set to return home, you’ll be provided with guidelines on how to care for the incision site. The scar that occurs at the incision site will be noticeable at first but should fade over the next few months.