Neurological complications and quality of life after submandibular gland resection. A Prospective, non-randomized, single-centre study
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Introduction: There are different complications related to the submandibular gland resection, like damage to the mandibular branch of the facial nerve, lingual or hypoglossal nerve. Moreover, subjective complaints like dry mouth, altered sensation around the scar and taste alterations were described. Patients and methods: A prospective, non-randomized study was performed including 20 patients treated with submandibular gland resection. Results: The most common etiology was sialolithiasis affecting 9 (45%) patients. One (5%) patient presented a lingual nerve paresis, 2 (10%) patients presented a transient marginal mandibular branch paresis and no hypoglossal nerve alteration was observed. Factors like the size of the lithiasis (P = 0.293), size of the tumor (P = 0.445) or type of pathology (P = 0.694) were not related with neurological complications. Altered sensation in the skin around a scar was the most severely weighted problem (55% and 33.3%), and xerostomia was the second one (33% and 27.3%) at one month and at six months after surgery, respectively. Conclusion: The submandibular gland resection remains to be a safe technique with a low rate of surgical and neurological complications. However, patients should be informed about sequelae like xerostomia, altered sensation in the skin or pain around the scar, which may be discomforting. The cosmetic result can be satisfactory, but a surgical scar can be avoided with another approach. Although rare, the risk of MBFN, lingual and hypoglossal nerve damage should always be included in the preoperative information on surgical risks.
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