Gland-sparing neck dissection: oncological and functional outcomes in oral cancer patients

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This study was performed to evaluate the subjective and objective functional outcomes of patients who had undergone submandibular gland-sparing neck dissection. All data were obtained from patients treated in a single hospital. Seventy-seven patients who had undergone complete submandibular gland sparing (CSGS) were included in the study. Cancer prognosis items were recorded. The subjective outcomes included patient self-evaluation of mouth dryness and the evaluation of the presence of saliva secretion following the application of digital pressure. Saliva scintigraphy served as the objective test. Self-reported xerostomia was compared between the CSGS patients and a control group of patients who had undergone unilateral submandibular gland removal (USGR; n = 74). In the CSGS group, local recurrence occurred in 3.8% of the 80 cancer sites, and neck recurrence occurred in 5.9% of neck dissection sites. Regarding the subjective measurements, 7.0% of the CSGS patients reported xerostomia and 91.9% demonstrated saliva secretion by digital pressure. Scintigraphy revealed actively secreting glands, with 42.9% of them showing normal gland function; none of the patients had severe xerostomia. The relative risk of dry mouth was significantly higher in the USGR patients than in the CSGS patients (P < 0.001). Submandibular gland sparing during neck dissection was found to result in satisfactory saliva secretion, with a relatively small risk of local or neck recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-830
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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