Treatment for the disease depends on its nature. While benign salivary glands can be removed without surgery, more serious diseases require it. If the disease is malignant, the treatment may include surgery or postoperative irradiation. Sometimes, the salivary glands are also affected by cancers from other sites. If this is the case, a surgeon should perform submandibular gland surgery. Otherwise, conservative treatments may be recommended.
There are several types of salivary gland tumours. The most common is the pleomorphic adenoma, which presents as a firm mass in the preauricular area. The second most common type of salivary gland tumor is the Warthins Tumour, which typically presents as a solitary, sublingual mass. However, if the tumour is found in the parotid gland, it should be treated immediately by removing it.
There are risks involved in this surgery. Patients should avoid strenuous activity, lifting more than 10 pounds, and straining. The incision may be small enough to allow sponge bathing. There may be some minor asymmetry or loss of bulk. Although the procedure does not cause long-term complications, it does require a recovery period. A general anesthesia is used during the surgery. Patients are usually discharged the same day.
Surgery to remove a cyst may require the removal of the entire gland and its duct. In some cases, however, a wider excision may be necessary to remove the entire tumour. The surgery may also involve surrounding muscles, jaw bone, nerves, and lymph nodes. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove the lymph nodes in the neck, a procedure known as a neck dissection. This procedure is rare but can be necessary for cancer patients with a metastatic skin cancer.