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Facelift Question. Is it normal to have part of my glands under my jawline removed?

I went to a plastic surgeon for a facelift consolation and he wants to remove part of my glands under my jawline. Have you ever heard of this, I am a little nervous about doing this, but I do want a good result. I am 68 years old.

Doctor Answers (16)

Removal a sub mandibular glandsIs rarely necessary for neck rejuvenation of the facelift

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Occasionally the sub mandibular glands can be large.. When this is the case These salivary glands are often chronically obstructed. Rarely is indicated to remove them to rejuvenate the neck.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Large submandibular glands after facelift

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Submandibular glands are playing a major role in producing saliva for oral hygiene and food digestion. Removing these glands can be a risky and compromise salivary function. Older plastic surgeons commonly remove parts of these large glands to achieve a more angular jawlines. I have performed well over 2500 facelifts and occasionally there are patients with larger submandibular glands that protrude post operatively. To reduce the size of these glands I have injected Botox into the glands and there have been significant reduction in their size.

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Facelift Question. Is it normal to have part of my glands under my jawline removed?

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Thank you for the question. The submandibular gland is a salivary gland located below the jaw line in the neck. With ageing this gland can enlarge and protrude contributing to loss of definition of the jaw line and neck. Although removal of part of the submandibular gland can accentuate the jaw line and improve neck definition it would not be considered a common component of a facelift, rather an additional procedure in a select group of patients. It is something that you should discuss in detail with your surgeon and balance out the risks and benefits before proceeding with the surgery.
Best of luck!
Dr Guy Watts

Removal of the submandibular and submaxillary salivary glands

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The salivary glands are located under your jaw line (termed submandibular and submaxillary salivary glands), and are usually hidden behind your natural jaw and soft tissue of your neck. In some people the glands can be lower down and create bulging in the neck, this can create a more bulbous or irregular shape and contour of your neck. Most people who undergo facial rejuvenation with face and neck lift surgery do not require surgery on their salivary glands. In some people as a consequence of their natural anatomy and facial ageing the position of the glands could effect the final surgical result. In these patients partial removal of the salivary glands as part of the face and neck lift surgery may be beneficial and improve the result of the surgery. The anatomy of the salivary glands include a very powerful blood supply, hence surgery on the glands needs to be both cautious and reserved for when necessary to avoid unnecessary issue from surgery. If your salivary glands are more prominent in your neck, then partial removal of the salivary glands at the same time as facial rejuvenation surgery may improve the results of your surgery, an assessment is required to determine your individual needs and suitability for this surgery.

Removal of submandibular glands as part of facelift

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While this is a recognized procedure it is not routinely done in most facelifts. There are risks relating to this procedure and it should only be performed in situations where the submandibular glands are large, low lying and significantly affecting neck contour.  I have performed 100s of facelift procedures and have done this procedure on very few patients over the past 15 years.  I dont believe it should be done routinely nor by a surgeon who does not routinely perform head and neck surgery.

Philip Solomon, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Submaxillary gland removal

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Submandibular or submaxillary glands can be removed as a procedure with facelifting.  Most surgeons who remove these glands remove only a portion of the gland and not the entire submaxillary gland.  If the gland is especially large, their presence can sometimes provide less impact to a rejuvenated face.  On the other hand, their are more risks with submandibular gland removal as well as potential functional issues (dry mouth) which can result.  Weigh the risks and benefits to help determine if this additional procedure is beneficial in this case for you.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Many plastic surgeons would not remove these glands

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while there are facelift surgeons who do this, i think it's safe to say that the majority  of plastic surgeons would avoid this practice because the risks outweigh the potential benfits of doing so.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

It is risky to remove glands

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Removing the submaxillary glands can be a risky procedure, from a surgical standpoint.  There are various nerves and blood vessels that are in the way of the surgeon's path to the glands.  Removal is routinely done for cancer in the form of a "modified radical neck" procedure, but even those of us who have performed those surgeries are reluctant to perform them for cosmetic purposes.

Also, since the glands provide moisture to the mouth, a "dry mouth" can occur.  If a patient has a "marginally dry mouth" removal of some of the gland tissue can cause the dryness to become symptomatic.  Most patients, when they discover that this is a potential problem, opt out of the procedure.

From my standpoint, removal of the glands is a "last" option.  I prefer to try a suspension procedure involving a web of suture as a first attempt.

Gregory S. Keller, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Facelift Question. Is it normal to have part of my glands under my jawline removed?

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A partial removal of a bulging salivary gland under the jawline, the submandibular gland, is an option that can be performed with a facelift in the appropriate patient to improve the contour of the neck. Although there are some excellent plastic surgeons who do this on a regular basis, most well trained experienced plastic surgeons feel that the cosmetic benefits of this procedure are well out weighed by the potential complications and would rarely if ever remove any portion of this gland in conjunction with a facelift.

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Can be risky

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As an otolaryngologist and facial plastic surgeon, I have a great respect for the salivary glands of the face and neck.  It sounds like the surgeon wants to remove or partially remove some of your submaxillary gland.  Personally, I do not do this.  Some surgeons, however, do it very regularly and quite successfully. The risks include nerve injury to your tongue, depressed scar and drainage of saliva through the skin.

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.