Surgery for Malignant Submandibular Gland Neoplasms

Adv Otorhinolaryngol. 2016;78:104-12. doi: 10.1159/000442130. Epub 2016 Apr 12.


For many decades, surgery has been the primary treatment for malignant submandibular gland neoplasms. Nonetheless, due to the heterogeneity and rarity of submandibular gland malignant tumors and the high frequency of chronic benign processes in this region, management can be complex. Preoperative investigations, such as fine-needle aspiration and imaging, are critical to achieve the correct diagnosis so that appropriate surgery can be planned. In general, for malignant submandibular gland neoplasms, the minimal treatment necessary is excision of the submandibular gland with level I lymph node dissection. Salivary gland cancer in the submandibular gland is generally more aggressive than the same histologic type in the parotid gland. Neck dissection may be required and primarily depends on the stage and histological grade. Adjuvant therapy most frequently consists of radiation and can improve overall survival. Some factors that influence prognosis after surgical treatment include the histologic grade, stage at presentation, and positive surgical margins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Submandibular Gland / surgery*
  • Submandibular Gland Neoplasms / surgery*