Submandibular gland excision: long-term clinical outcome in 139 patients operated in a single institution
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In transcervical resection of the submandibular gland for benign lesions, only a limited risk of damage to neural structures can be accepted and a cosmetically satisfactory result is mandatory. In this retrospective case series, we evaluated 139 patients operated over a 10-year period and completed long-term clinical follow-up of 113 of these patients after a median of 81 months. In all patients, the operation was effective. We found a 4.3 % risk of reoperation for wound infection or postoperative hematomas and an 18.7 % risk of early paresis of the marginal branch of the facial nerve, which decreased to 2.7 % on long-term follow-up. We found a 4.4 % risk of permanent lingual nerve paresis, and no patients had damage to the hypoglossal nerve. Xerostomia was found in 22.1 % of the patients and could be quantified by the easily performed biscuit test. Only 2.5 % reported an unsatisfactory cosmetic result and all scars were ≤6 on the Vancouver Scar Scale. Problems with scarring were more common if there had been postoperative infection. We continue to use the lateral transcervical approach as standard in our institution for patients who cannot be managed by gland-sparing procedures.
KeywordsSubmandibular gland excision Surgical outcome Benign lesions