Salivary glands make saliva for your mouth. They are found around the mouth and throat. Salivary glands include:
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There are different types of surgeries, depending on which gland needs to be operated on:
The surgery may remove part or all of the gland to: is done to remove glands that have problems such as:
Your doctor will review problems that can occur such as:
Talk to your doctor about factors that may increase your risk of complications, such as:
Before the surgery, your doctor may:
Talk to your doctor about any medicine, herbs, or supplements you are taking. Some may need to be stopped up to one week before the procedure.
Arrange a ride to and from the hospital.
General anesthesia may be used. This will keep you asleep. Local anesthesia may be used for smaller procedures. The area will be numbed but you will be awake.
A cut will be made under the ear and down to the throat. Nerves in the area will be carefully moved aside. Damaged tissue will then be removed.
A cut will be made in the neck below the jawline. The gland will be removed. If needed other objects like lymph nodes or stone will also be removed.
A cut will be made through the mouth. If a large amount of tissue needs to be removed a cut will be made in the neck.
Once tissue is removed the area will be closed with stitches. A drain may be placed to let fluids leave the wound.
Time will depend on the type of surgery. Simple surgeries may take less than an hour. Complex ones can take up to 5 hours.
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. There will be pain in the area after surgery. Medicine can help to manage the pain.
Right after surgery, the staff may:
During your stay, the care center staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
You will need to take it easy for the first few days. Certain actions like strenuous activity will need to be avoided. You will also need to follow care instructions for the drain.
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
Parotidectomy. Memorial Sloan Ketterin Cancer Center website. Available at: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/salivary-gland/salivary-gland-cancer-treatment/parotidectomy-parotid-gland-tumor-surgery. Accessed December 28, 2018.
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 December 28, 2018.
Salivary glands. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/salivary-glands. Accessed December 28, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by Michael Woods, MD