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Surgical management of the plunging ranula: a review of seven cases

  • Keiichi Ichimura (a1), Yasushi Ohta (a1) and Niro Tayama (a1)


We have treated seven patients with a plunging ranula during the past 10 years. All patients underwent surgery via a cervical approach. In two, the ranula reached the anterior neck by passing through a dehiscence in the mylohyoid muscle, while in the other five the plunging ranula passed posteriorly to the mylohyoid muscle. A pseudocyst was extirpated in each patient. Although total sublingual gland excision was not performed in two patients, no recurrence was observed in any patient. Incision of the pseudocyst facilitated subsequent procedures and decreased the incidence of transient facial paralysis. In the presence of a cervical mass without swelling of the oral floor, a cervical approach may still be the method of choice either for the first operation or for salvage surgery after recurrence subsequent to intraoral procedures. It is based on the fact that there may be ectopic sublingual glands residing on the inferior surface of the mylohyoid muscle.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Keiichi Ichimura, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113 Japan. Fax: +81-3-3814-9486


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This paper was Presented at the 8th Meeting of the Japan Society of Stomatopharyngology held on September 15–17, 1995 in Beppu, Japan.



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