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 26

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. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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

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
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Submandibular glands look like symmetric bumps in the neck

Submandibular glands are salivary glands that lie on either side of the neck, just under the mandible. As we age, these glands can become more prominent, and sometimes are made more obvious by facelift (necklift) surgery. While some physicians decide to resect part of these glands, the risk of injuring a branch of the facial nerve that innervates the corner of the mouth is increased. For this reason, many surgeons feel it is better to have a little bump than to risk permanent nerve damage. Another option for large glands may be to inject Botox into the gland to shrink it.

Theda C. Kontis, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Salivary Gland Removal

Thank you for your question.

In some patients, the submandibular gland is quite large and can contribute to abnormal contours in the neck near the jawline.  In these patients, some surgeons will recommend removing a portion of the gland to create a more refined contour.  In experienced hands, this can be done safely.  Patients may have a dry mouth for a couple of weeks, but this almost always goes away.


Dr. Michael Epstein

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Facelift and Submandibular Gland Removal

The bulge under each jaw that some people have is usually due to a salivary gland called the submandibular gland.  It is very uncommon to have such a droopy gland or such a big gland that dealing with it at the time of a facelift is necessary.  I have not done that in a very long time as the risks do not outweigh the benefits in many cases.  I prefer a MACS lift since the tightening that this lift offer will often deal with this problem if there is some bulge of the gland.
I hope that helps.
Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Sometimes, but be careful

Removal of submandibular glands can sometimes be suggested due to large size however, it is not typical and has increased complication rate and should be performed only by people who do it routinely.

Louis P. Bucky, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Submandibular glands and facelift

Submandibular glands (saliva glands under the jawline) can hang down and make the contour of your neck appear overly full or lumpy. It is possible to partially remove the submandibular glands, or pexy them (support them upward). However, these additional procedures carry with them a higher risk of fistula formation, seroma, and wound infection. In most patients, you can get an excellent facelift result without removal of the submandibular glands.

Lara Devgan, MD, MPH
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 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

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.