My Surgeons Theory

tommyodavey Member Posts: 726 Member

Yesterday was my appointment with the surgeon who removed my base of tongue tumor and did a radical neck dissection back in '11 and early 2012.  I told him that my Oral Surgeon pulled a back molar and my mouth healed properly.  He was very interested in that and this is the reason for this post.  One of the things he did during my neck surgery was to move my left salivary gland from the side of my mouth to my chin.  He then instructed the radiation technicians to avoid that area.  What he has found is that every single patient of his who had their salivary gland moved and thereby saving it, none of them suffered through radionecrosis. Meaning they all healed.  His theory is that by leaving the patient with sufficient saliva, it seems to aid in the healing of the tooth loss and also helps avoid the HBO treatment.

Most doctors do not do this procedure. (so he states) Once he gets his paper written it will be submitted to the medical community for approved reading. He told me the name of the gland but I can't remember it or find it online.  It is one of the Sublingual glands I think.  Not the Parotid gland like I thought before. 

My suggestion to all who will be having a neck dissection and rads is to ask your doctor about this.  I'll be happy to supply his contact information if need be.