Salivary Gland Surgery
(Parotidectomy; Submandibular Sialoadenectomy; Sublingual Gland Surgery)
DefinitionSalivary glands secrete saliva into your mouth through ducts. The salivary glands are found around the mouth and throat. The main glands are:
- Sublingual glands
- Smaller glands located throughout the mouth area
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- Parotidectomy —to remove the parotid gland
- Submandibular sialoadenectomy—to remove the submandibular gland
- Sublingual gland surgery—to remove the sublingual gland
Reasons for ProcedureSalivary glands can become infected and blocked. They can also have a tumor, stone, or other disorder. Surgery is done to treat the problem by removing part or all of the affected gland. It may also be done to remove tissue for testing, like removing a tumor to test for cancer.
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Numbness of the face and ear
- Damage to the nerve that controls movement of muscles in your face
- Saliva drainage—Saliva may leak through the incision after it has been closed.
- Frey’s syndrome—This happens when salivary nerve fibers grow into the sweat glands. While eating, some people may notice sweating on the side of the face where the surgery was done.
- Swelling of the airway
- Fistula formation—This is an abnormal connection that may occur between the mouth, nose, throat, or skin.