Removing a Submandibular Gland

This webpage will give you information about removing a submandibular gland. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

What are the submandibular glands?

The submandibular glands are salivary glands. There are two, one on either side of your neck, under the jawbone (see figure 1).

The duct of the submandibular gland opens into the floor of the tongue


Figure 1: The duct of the submandibular gland opens into the floor of the tongue

A submandibular gland may need to be removed for a variety of reasons such as repeated infection, obstruction or unexplained enlargement or too much saliva being produced.


What are the benefits of surgery?

Surgery takes away symptoms of swelling, pain and an unpleasant taste in the mouth, and can help find out the cause of an enlarged gland.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Some obstructions can be treated without having to remove the gland. Medication can control the amount of saliva you produce, if you are producing too much.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes between three-quarters of an hour and an hour.

Your surgeon will make a cut in the skin of your neck just under your jaw. They will remove the gland and may insert a drain (small tube).

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring

Specific complications of this operation

  • Damage to nerves
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)

How soon will I recover?

The drain is usually removed the day after the operation.

You should be able to go home after one to two days or occasionally the same day.

The stitches are usually removed seven to ten days after the operation. Most people are then able to return to work.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. However, you should not do any exercise for one week after the operation. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.


A problem with a submandibular gland can cause swelling, pain and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Removing the gland will take away the symptoms and can help find out the cause of an enlarged gland.


Author: Mr Andrew Sidebottom FDSRCS FRCS

Illustrations: LifeART image copyright 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.-Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Related Content

Image of plate with fish and vegetables

7 Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keeping your heart as healthy as possible is all about living a healthy lifestyle. There are little things you can do every day and bigger decisions that can all help with maintaining a healthy heart.

Continue Reading

What to expect from a stay in a private hospital

If you’re considering private treatment then you may be wondering what it’s like to stay in a private hospital.

Continue Reading
7 ways to manage stress

7 Ways to Manage Stress

Most of us are exposed to stress at one time or another in our lives, whether from work, family, or other responsibilities and circumstances. A little stress can often be beneficial, but when we’re put under too much pressure it has the potential to quickly become a problem.

Continue Reading
burn calories hero

Fun Ways to Burn Calories

Here are some more accessible and fun ways to exercise and burn calories at home.

Continue Reading
10 minute workout hero

10-Minute Workouts for Exercising at Home

Finding the time to workout can be tough, so here are some 10-minute exercises that can be fitted into your daily schedule at any time

Continue Reading

Best Short Workouts to Keep Fit at Home

We’ve chosen some of the best workouts to do at home so you can get back to being active and improve your fitness levels.

Continue Reading

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Here are some tips which might help you achieve easier sleep and a deeper slumber.

Continue Reading
Boost Immune System Ramsay

How To Boost Your Immune System

To help you boost your immune system, we’ve come up with five handy ways to keep things running at their maximum capacity.

Continue Reading

6 lifestyle choices to help prevent heart disease

Keeping a healthy heart is the most important thing you can do to prevent heart disease. Here are 6 lifestyle choices to consider:

Continue Reading

Choosing Private Health Care in the UK

Why go private? What to look for when choosing private health care? Advantages and costs of private health care.

Continue Reading

Paying for yourself?

Get in touch

Need some advice on a treatment price or booking an initial appointment?

We're here to help.

Or send us a message...