The drooling that accompanies motor neurone disorders adds to the burden of an individual already severely handicapped socially. Control of this problem can be achieved by a number of measures, such as the surgical repositioning of the salivary gland ducts and by use of medical or surgical means of reducing salivary production.
Nineteen patients aged 5 to 9 years, with excessive drooling as a result of perinatal brain damage, have been treated surgically at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, by bilateral tympanic neurectomies, unilateral chorda tympani nerve section and contralateral submandibular gland excision. In all 19, salivary flow was reduced and the drooling problem significantly improved. No post-operative complications occurred.