Preservation of the facial artery in excision of the submandibular salivary gland

Yoav P. Talmi*, Michael Wolf, Lev Bedrin, Zeev Horowitz, Shay Dori, Gavriel Chaushu, Ran Yahalom, Shlomo Taicher, Jona Kronenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The accepted method for submanddibular gland excision traditionally includes ligation of the facial artery (FA) as suggested by a host of surgical atlases. Preservation of the FA may be significant in reconstructive procedures of the head and neck and its ligation may altogether be obviated. Objective. Prospective feasibility study of FA preservation in submandibular gland excision. Materials and methods. Patients undergoing excision of the submandibular salivary glands from September 1999 through August 2001 were prospectively included. The FA was dissected and only its glandular branches ligated. Exclusion criteria were primary benign or malignant tumors of the submandibular salivary gland or metastatic disease involving the gland or level I of the neck. In cases where the primary tumor involved the floor of mouth, anterior tongue or mandible, resection of level I contents included the FA even in N0 necks. Results and conclusions. 104 patients (116 procedures) were included in the study. 81 patients underwent resection of the gland with preservation of the FA. The vessel was sacrificed in 35 necks because of metastases or primary tumor and in two cases of chronic sialadenitis. One patient had a postoperative hematoma following neck dissection requiring re-exploration. The source of bleeding was not found to be related to the FA. Contrary to accepted methodology, the FA may readily be preserved in surgery of the submandibular salivary glands. We suggest preservation of the FA in all cases of procedures for benign disease and in selected cases of malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-157
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Facial artery
  • Neck dissection
  • Reconstruction
  • Salivary gland
  • Submandibular gland


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