This is a paired large (major) gland producing saliva (spit) located on each side of the upper neck immediately under the mandible (jaw bone).
Both malignant and benign lumps occur in the submandibular gland. Approximately 50% of lumps in this gland are cancerous. Your surgeon may recommend performing a fine needle aspirate (needle biopsy) of the lump to find out what sort of tumour you have.
Your surgeon may recommend surgery to remove the submandibular gland to confirm the diagnosis. Known malignant submandibular gland lumps are best treated by surgery and in some cases radiation is recommended after surgery.
Submandibular gland excision is the surgical removal of the submandibular gland. The operation is performed under general anaesthesia, which means that you will be asleep throughout. The incision is placed on the side of the neck several centremetres below the mandible (jaw bone). The incision heals very well with minimal scarring.
At the end of the operation the surgeon will place a plastic tube through the skin to reduce the risk of blood clot (haematoma) collecting under the skin. You may require an overnight hospital stay following your surgery before the drain can be removed and you can go home. In some cases your surgeon may arrange for you to recuperate at home with the drain soon after the surgery. You will need 1 to 2 weeks off work.