Submandibular gland removal

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I have today had my follow up at max facial regarding my gland and they say the only options now are to keep massaging the salivary gland when I have infections or to remove it. They say removal will be better as eventually it will stop working now anyway. I had a stone which I removed myself and now keep getting a yellow spot (not apparently another stone as the silogram I had done did not see one) so it's no doubt infection. It has subsided again but it has a few times and really I know it's "until the next time".

I don't like the sound of the operation and the risks involved really but what risks are involved by leaving it be even if it did stop working? Would it continue to get more infections or cause more damage?

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31 Replies

  • Posted

    Just to add they say the problem is within the gland itself, not in the tube. And I have agreed to the op and have gone on the waiting list for this although I know I could always cancel.
  • Posted

    Hi Karen I have just had my gland removed I am 8 days in.  I started having problems last September 2015 where it would swell and hurt after eating and drinking they did ct ultra sound MRI no one could see the stone only inflammation that shone like a light bulb.  I had the beginning of the submanbular gland opened wider at the beginning but that did not help so 8 days ago the gland was removed the wound a little red up to day 6 but the problem I have now is worse the gland which is supposed have gone feels rock hard and painful when eating and drinking.  I know it's early days but will keep you posted I did joke with the surgeon did you take the right gland he assured me he did and this is normal but will wait for a couple of weeks to give it time to settle down.

    I was also told that the path lab said it was imflammed in several parts nothing sinister so that is one good thing.  I am just hoping the swelling and pain will subside soon.

    Good luck try to put off operation unless it gets too bad although I was told once you have stone there is a strong possabilty you will have more.


    • Posted

      Hi duskyday

      Thank you so much for taking time to reply. I am sorry to ask you questions during your recovery and understand if you cannot answer but did it hurt? How long were you in hospital for? Did you have swelling, bruising and how big is your scar. Did it swell your face etc.

      I am so grateful to your reply. I have not had an ultrasound only a sialogram done which was clear. I had removed my own stone but was told last week the problem is within the gland itself, not in the tube. In fact I have trouble with a few of these salivary glands and lymph nodes were raised all around my head and neck for a long time before I got the stone out. I was told it was coincidence by max facial but I feel it was a deep neck infection.

    • Posted


      Sorry was just wondering if you could tell me how your swelling is 12 months after surgery.

      I have my gland removed 8 weeks ago and my neck is still swollen, along with my face.

      People say they don't notice it much but I can still notice it, especially in photos as my lip slants a little.

      When I left hospital they didn't give me any advice at all, which is really frustrating so I don't know if this is normal or not.

      Neck still feels pretty sold and tight


    • Posted

      I had my surgery about 3 months ago. The numbness will go away over time abd the lip droop will also improve, it just takes a while. Your jaw will be sore for several months due to the fact that the doctor had to scrape and clean the area under your jaw. The only issue that has remained for me is at the back of my tongue past my last bottom tooth there is a hard bump that has not gone away...this concerns me a little bit but does not give me much pain, i just get the same foul tasting saliva i did with the bad duct. I will be seeing a doctor about it soon and will update you.

      Fear not the problems you are having will subside and you will once again be able to eat and drink whatever you want.

    • Posted

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you very much for your comment, it has made me feel a lot more at ease.

      The last couple of days I've actually started to notice a bit of a difference which is good and I've been taking Arnica tablets for the bruising on my jaw.

      I guess people are different and some take longer to recover.

      That's a shame about the lump on your tongue, I hope you get that seen to.

      Yes please let me know what the doctor says to you, as I'm not due back to hospital until July now.

      Many thanks


    • Posted

      Hi Brian,

      Have you been back to the doctors yet?

      My face is still swollen on the side of the surgery which is really irritating me now.

      Thought it was healing till this week it's come back up again and scars feeling tight again.

      People say they don't notice it but I do straight away in pictures.

      Hope all is well with you.



    • Posted

      Is it normal for the  incision  spot to still be rock hard after the gland and stone were removed, it doesn’t hurt or anything just itches at the jaw bone? 
    • Posted

      Yes, according to my surgeon, the hardness is normal for up to a few months. I had my submandibular gland removed 2 weeks ago and my incision site is hard where the gland used to be. I was so worried about it and thought it was so strange but my surgeon says it's normal. I have a little pain still and sometimes get pangs of pain which is the nerves coming back to life, I'm told. I still have some numbness around the area too which I'm told can last a long time. I also had some itchiness but that has subsided now. The worst thing for me now is the dry mouth. Did you have that? It's really diminished my quality of life and has caused a resurgence in my anxiety. My original problem was sialdentitis so I had a dry mouth even before my surgery. How are you doing now 5 months later?

    • Posted


      I have a similar thing, had my right gland removed last week and all seems to be healing well. 

      Where my gland was is now rock solid and swollen,I can see you had a similar thing?

      How long did this last for you? 

    • Posted

      Hi Liz,

      Well, I am 3 months post op and I still have the hardness where the gland used to be. It has changed over the 3 months, i.e. it has moved downwards and decreased in size but there is a considerable lump  still there. It is not visible to the naked eye though, it's just when I feel around the area, you can feel it. It's about 2 inches in diameter. I also still have some numbness around the area too and only within the last 2 weeks or so have I gained full control of my mouth back. What I mean by that is, when swirling liquid around in my mouth, it always leaked out the side of the op and I had no control, now that's pretty much back to normal.

      I am seeing my surgeon next week for my 3 month check up and I am looking forward to finding out what the hardness is and how much longer I might have it. From phone conversations I've had with my doctor, it sounds like it's drainage. I had my op done in NYC and they did not put in a drainage tube like they do in the UK (from what I can tell). Are you in the UK?

      Also, around the lump wasn't painful (apart from the normal few weeks after surgery) until I got on a plane at the start of May and since then it's been mildly painful. As Brian above mentioned, I also have what feels like a lump in my throat that I'd had mildly since I got the infection but which was also exacerbated after flying.

      The swelling around the area for me did not last too long at all. I had major swelling around the whole side of my face for about a week and then the incision itself was swollen for about a month. Now I do not have any swelling, just the hard lump under the skin where the gland was removed. 

      I'll update this again after my follow up visit in a few days' time.


  • Posted

    Hi Karen I started with a small lump in gland had ultra sound MRI CT then finally Silogram.  None of the people looking at these could see a stone but showed as one said a bright fairy light but no stone it was only the top guy that could see the stone.

    He advised to have the gland out because if your prone to one you could have another so opted to have it removed.

    I went down to theatre 9am and was back by 11am not sure where I was on the list but seemed as if it took that long.

    The scare is very neat and in a fold in my neck about 2 inches long, they put  a drain in but was clear by the next day.  I had swelling where the scare was it had no dressing on just dissolving stitches. They also had to go under my tongue because I had a previous op to widen the gland to see if it would wash the stone away unfortunately it did not work so because they had stitched it back they had to undo that work.

    I stayed in overnight then next morning the drain was removed but had to wait a few hours to make sure it did not bleed, 

    The coming week I had a lot of soreness and swelling and was quite red where they had cut but this subsided by the following week so about 7 days for redness to go away I was a little worried that there was infection but got up the Thursday and redness had gone.

    I am on day 12 still some swelling but the problem I have is when I eat and drink it swells up and very hard as if the gland is not draining the saliva which was the problem I was having in the first place.

    Today I phoned the Maxifacial department who put on to the on call Doctor and I have a appointment for Monday morning to get it checked out.  I did see the consultant on the Friday a 8 days after op he said everything looked fine but when I mentioned the swelling he did not know why but it's gone on now for another 5 days and still the same so going to get it checked out.  He did say they removed all the gland but at the moment it does not feel like that.

    The only thing I would suggest to do is get plenty of pain killers in that suit you I was given strong ones from hospital but they had knock on without going into too much details and try and eat more roughage because the anathetic does have a knock and take at least a week to get out of your system,

    Hope I have not waffled too much but feel free to ask if you have any more concerns

    • Posted

      Hi again duskyday,

      You have helped me lots and definitely not waffled. I hope you go on ok on Monday then. I have had previous surgery 3 years ago when I had a cholesteatoma tumour on the same side as my submandibular gland problem. I got paralysis of my opposite side immediately I came around as I got unlucky and got shingles in my opposite side. (Just very unfortunate).

      My symptoms I had when my ear problem was diagnosed are still the same. I feel pressure in my eustation tube which is in the same area as my gland problem. I have to sit massaging all the time to relieve the pressure. About a year and half after this surgery I kept feeling a spike under my tongue. My gland under my tongue was red and swollen and lots of swellings appeared around the base of my skull and then one day I saw this stone sticking out so I sucked lemons and removed it. I thought that would be it but continued to get swelling in the gland but my lymph nodes reduced to normal. I then had a sialogram done and they said it was clear. I went back to max facial as I had a yellow spot on the gland under my tongue and thought it looked like a stone again but it's not apparently. They said the only option now is to remove the gland as they say it will pack in working eventually anyway.

      Now I have waffled!!!

      I just cannot understand why they have not done a scan. I was told that it's for the best they said.

    • Posted

      Thank you for all of the great infomation.My surgery is May 9th 2017...I have stones; gonna get my right gland removed. You made me feel much better and now I know what to expect. 
  • Posted

    And they said it would get infections. I believe I had a deep neck infection when all my nodes were up or even sjogren's. I have had numerous salivary glands swell over the last couple of years.

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