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 30

Neck bulges from salivary gland prominence.

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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 34 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
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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.

Drooping Submandibular Glands

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As we age, the submandibular (saliva) glands can drop down to a lower, more visible area in the neck.  These glands may not be very visible until after a facelift when they have been uncovered by tightening sagging tissues and removing excess skin and fat.  Some plastic surgeons do believe in removing a portion of these glands to decrease their prominence.  It can be a tricky procedure potentially complicated by bleeding and nerve injury.  Another option to deal with these enlarged glands is to shrink them down to a smaller size using neuromodulator injections such as Botox.  Hope that helps!

Best of luck with your surgery!

Jenifer L. Henderson, MD
Silverdale Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facelift and submandibular salivary glands. Should they be removed?

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Thank you for your question. In my opinion, resecting the submandibular salivary gland after facelift can result in unwanted side effects and or complications like injury to a branch of the facial nerve which can results in facial muscle movement deficit. With  every action there can be a reaction.

I hope this helps. Best wishes! (Dr. Salameh, Plastic Surgeon, Bowling Green, KY)

Removal of the glands

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Remoral of the salivary glands in the hands of a plastic surgeon who performs extensive facial plastic surgery is certainly not extraordinary. This can be done safely with little increased risks.  

Javad Sajan, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

​ Submandibular neck gland removal at Face and Neck Lift

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Dear blufftongal:

It is not normal to have the submandibular neck glands removed at the time of a Face and Neck Lift. Just like the other tissues of the face and neck, the fibrous network holding the fat, muscles and glands in a youthful position weaken and descend. The submandibular glands are surrounded by larger nerves and vessels required for tongue and facial movements. The glands themselves are required to provide saliva to moisten your food and begin the breakdown process of digestion. Saliva maintains the equilibrium in your mouth for tooth and gum health as well.

If your Plastic Surgeon is comfortable and confident in partial or full removal of the submandibular gland, try a Botox injection first to see if you tolerate the changes in your mouth without function of these glands before removing part / all of them.

During the neck defining process, I use suspension sutures to assist in elevating the gland back into its pocket. During the healing process, the bulge from a descended gland is usually well lifted by the scar / collagen production. This has not been a significant issue for my patients and so should be discussed with your surgeon when making your decision for submandibular gland resection at the time of your face and neck lift.

I hope this is helpful! All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Submandibular glands look like symmetric bumps in the neck

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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 42 reviews

Salivary Gland Removal

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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

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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 64 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.