Salivary Gland Surgery
(Parotidectomy; Submandibular Sialoadenectomy; Sublingual Gland Surgery)
- 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 Procedure
- 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.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Do a physical exam and review your medical history
- Have blood tests done
- Have x-rays or other imaging tests done
Talk to you about any medications, herbs, and dietary supplements that you may be taking—You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Check your facial movements by asking you to smile or pout
- If you have a drain, show you how to care for it
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
Follow your doctor’s instructions for:
- Caring for your wound
- Caring for your drain
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- You may also need to return to the hospital to have the sutures removed. After the sutures are out, clean the area with mild soap and water.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, a lot of bleeding, or discharge from the surgery site
- Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given
- Spitting or vomiting blood
- New, unexplained symptoms
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology http://www.entcanada.org
Salivary gland surgery. Cedars-Sinai website. Available at: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Head-and-Neck-Cancer-Center/Treatment/Salivary-Gland-Surgery.aspx. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Salivary glands. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/salivaryGlands.cfm. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/12/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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