Submandibular gland excision is the removal of the gland under the lower jaw. Under general anaesthesia, a 4-5 cm skin incision is made on the side of the neck below the jaw. The operation will take about an hour. You will be able to eat and drink afterwards. Most patient can go home on the same day and return to work within 2 weeks.
Risks specific to the operation:
- Facial weakness – There is a branch of the facial nerve that passes below the jaw close to the gland. If it is damaged, there will be weakness in the movement of the lower lip. Occasionally there will be temporary weakness to the nerve after the operation and will recover in 3-6 months.
- Numbness to the side of the tongue – There is a nerve that runs close to the duct of the gland. It rarely gets damaged. However, its injury will lead to numbness to the side of the tongue.
- Bleeding – It is unusual to occur but if it does, the patient will need to return to operating theatre for drainage.
- Infection – This is uncommon but if it occurs, the patient will require antibiotics and may even require drainage of pus under general anaesthesia.