Submandibular Gland Removal: Before Your Surgery

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What is submandibular gland removal?

Submandibular gland removal is a type of surgery. It removes a saliva gland below your lower jaw.

You may need this surgery if you have an infection or a tumor. Or you may need it if you have a blocked saliva duct. This duct is a tube that carries saliva from the gland to the mouth.

To do the surgery, the doctor makes a cut in your neck under your lower jaw. This cut is called an incision. Then he or she removes the gland and closes the incision with stitches or glue.

If your saliva duct is blocked, the doctor may also make a small incision under your tongue. Then the doctor can take out whatever is blocking the duct.

You will probably go home on the same day as the surgery. Taking out the gland won't leave you with a dry mouth. Our mouths have many saliva glands.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

 
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

 
  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors. .
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take 1 to 2 hours.
  • You may have a drain near your incision. The doctor will tell you when it can come out.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.



The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.