After identification of the hypoglossal nerve, attention should be directed to the submental area of the neck. The fascia from the midline of the neck is divided (Figure 13). This facilitates exposure of the anterior belly of the digastric muscle and the underlying mylohyoid muscle. Complete exposure of the digastric muscle in the submental compartment is necessary to remove the paired submental nodes (Figure 13 or 14). By following the anterior digastric muscle from anterior to posterior, the submaxillary gland is exposed. The submaxillary gland is dissected from its bed by approaching the gland anteriorly (Figure 15). By mobilizing the gland from its bed from anterior to posterior, the lingual nerve, which lies in the most superior aspect of the submaxillary space, the submaxillary duct, which lies in the midportion of the compartment, and the hypoglossal nerve, which lies in the most inferior aspect of the area, are identified (Figure 16). This exposure may be eased by traction on the submaxillary gland with a tenaculum. This allows the surgeon to visualize the posterior edge of the mylohyoid muscle and to retract this muscle anteriorly (Figure 16), thereby exposing the three important structures: the lingual nerve, the salivary duct, and the hypoglossal nerve. To facilitate removal of the submaxillary gland, the major salivary duct is divided and ligated.