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 21

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

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Do your homework

Hi Blufftongal

Thank you for your question. It will certainly help others who are concerned about this procedure. This is a recognised procedure but has a high risk of complications and if successfully performed by surgeons who have experience in this kind of surgery. it creates a more defined neck and jaw line, but for most this is an overkill as you can achieve a very good result without having to resect any glands.

Be sure to ask and see whether it is actually you want or whether it's the surgeon who wants to perform this to increase his numbers of these cases.

Ask your surgeon to put you in touch with other patients of his who have had this procedure and find out how satisfied they were and if they had any complications.

Submandibular Glands and Facelift

The partial removal of the submandibular glands can provide some patients with a more contoured neck. Removing this has risks and complications and is usually avoided unless absolutely necessary. Some of the risks include nerve injury to the tongue, dry mouth, and depressed scar. You may want to have a second consultation to determine if your submandibular gland is, indeed, very large and really does need to be removed

Neck bulges from salivary gland prominence.

In some patients the salivary glands under the jawline (submandibular glands) are either drooping or enlarged.  The majority of surgeons (IMO) prefer to leave them untouched due to some of the risks of surgery (including dry mouth and dental decay) while others feel comfortable removing portions of them.  It's generally good advice to discuss the issue with your plastic surgeon and decide how necessary the procedure is and what the risks are.  Be certain that your doctor has a-a good reputation b-experience in resecting the glands (partially) and c-really thinks that it is important to perform the procedure.   After hearing the risks you may choose to leave the glands in place and have a less than perfect submandibular area with less risk of complications. 

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Sub-mandibular gland removal with a face lift

 On a few occasions, patients have very large submandibular glands and  it creates a bulge in the neck,  so a  portion of the gland is resected to give a better profile. This has no bearing or function on the saliva production in mouth. It really depends if the gland is excessively enlarged and ptotic and creating an issue pre-operatively

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Not necessary to routinely remove submandibular glands as part of a facelift

In cases of a very large and/or low lying gland, a portion or the entire submandibular gland can be removed in order to improve neck contour as part of a facelift or neck lift. However, this is not a routinely perfomed procedure anymore due to the associated risks (such as nerve injury and salivary leak). It is important to speak with your surgeon regarding the risks and benefits associated with this component of the surgery. 

Sarmela Sunder, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Large submandibular glands after facelift

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 132 reviews

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

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

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

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, FRCS
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 61 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.