Sialendoscopy for the management of saliva gland inflammation or stones:
Chronic sialadenitis: chronic inflammation involving one or more of the salivary glands
Sialolithiasis: a small stone within a duct of the salivary glands causing partial or complete obstruction of saliva flow
Sialoendoscopy for management of chronic saliva gland inflammation or stones:
A minimally invasive procedure is now available for the treatment of saliva stones, providing a low-risk solution to a problem that has been difficult to manage. Sialendoscopy is an innovative technique that uses miniature endoscopes to treat various conditions effecting the saliva glands, including the parotid and submandibular glands.
The parotid and submandibular glands produce saliva necessary for swallowing and to maintain normal dental and oral health. There are various conditions which may result in scarring or narrowing of the saliva ducts which may cause obstruction, often leading to recurrent swelling, pain and infections. These conditions may range from previous history of mumps infection, to various autoimmune disorders to history of radiation to the head or neck region. Also, salivary production can be obstructed by the formation of stones, again causing backup and obstruction which may result in similar type of infections. These infections are often treated in the ER by antibiotics and other conservative measures including massages and pain medications and increased hydration. Repeated infections can lead to permanent narrowing of the salivary ducts. Hence if the obstruction becomes chronic, such conservative measures fail to provide relief and other options including surgery if often given to patients.
An alternative to open surgery
Sialendoscopy is the use of miniature scopes which allow entry via the opening of the salivary duct inside the mouth along the cheek (parotid) or under the tongue (submandibular) and allows the surgeon to view the sites of obstruction, whether it is due to narrowing or a stone blocking the flow, and often provides the opportunity to alleviate these issues permanently. Depending on the background condition(s) causing chronic sialadenitis or sialolithiasis, patients suffering from these chronic conditions may be good candidates for such minimally invasive procedures.
The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. The opening of the duct leading to the affected gland is dilated to allow for insertion of the endoscope, and then the salivary duct may be examined for abnormalities such as stenosis or narrowed segments which can be dilated or stones which may be amenable to extraction depending on the size and the location.
Schedule a Saliva Gland Consultation in Jacksonville
If you are experiencing chronic symptoms affecting your saliva glands, contact the North Florida Sinus Center in Jacksonville, FL to meet with our sinus specialists. To schedule a consultation, please call (904) 595-7475 or request an appointment through our secure online form.