INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to report rates, associated factors and outcomes of submandibular gland obstruction following surgery for squamous cell carcinoma in the anterior floor of the mouth (FOM) or ventral tongue without a neck dissection where resection has involved (or has been in very close proximity to) the submandibular duct. METHODS: A retrospective case note review was carried out for the period January 2007 to December 2011. Only patients who received primary local surgical resection for squamous cell carcinoma of the anterior FOM or ventral tongue were included. RESULTS: Fifty-two patients were analysed. Fifteen (29%) developed submandibular gland symptoms following surgery. Symptoms resolved spontaneously for 14 (93%) and 1 patient required the submandibular duct to be repositioned. Comparatively, 2 patients (13%) developed symptoms when the duct was repositioned during primary surgery. No patients had their submandibular gland removed. CONCLUSIONS: Resection of small tumours associated with the FOM and ventral tongue in proximity to the submandibular duct is associated with obstructive symptoms in about a quarter of patients; this is reduced by half when redirecting the duct. Symptoms are self-limiting and self-resolving. A prospective clinical trial comparing duct re positioning with subcapsular gland excision would help clarify potential benefits and best treatment modalities.
|Journal||Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2014|