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Submandibular salivary gland transfer

MICH4EL's picture
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2013

Does anyone have experience or information about submandibular salivary gland transfer procedure that is done prior to radiation to protect the salivary glands during treatment. The salivary glands are moved to a different location.  Research studies found 83% of patients who received this procedure retained their salivary gland functions after radiation while 100% of those who didn't receive it ended up with dry mouth.

Thanks.  Michael


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

but don't know anyone who actually did it.  100% of us may start out with dry mouth after rads, but generally we get some, most, or all of it back with time....only a few on this forum are still having a big problem with dry mouth years out of treatment.


MICH4EL's picture
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks for your message, P.  I got the impression from the messages and other sites that the dry mouth was usually both substantial and permanent.  Your message puts it into better perspective. 

fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Michael,

I thought you had another thread on this. I posted on that one I'm sure. I looked inot this too. Apparently, while there have been some success with submandibular salivary gland transfers, not many surgeons are adopting the procedure due to it's specialized applications. I posed this question to my Surgical Pncologist/ENT and that's the way he explained it to me and he doesn't do it, He's found that with precise IMRT radiation and [lanning, they can avoid long term saliva loss. For example, I'n getting close to a full dose on the left side of my neck (68) and only 26 near my submandibular salivary glands. He's confident that I will have close to 95% of my taste and saliva production within a year with a better than 60% by 6 months out. 


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