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WHEN IS SIALENDOSCOPY PERFORMED?

Broadly speaking, sialendoscopy is performed for evaluation of salivary gland diseases, chronic salivary gland inflammation (chronic sialadenitis) and minimally invasive treatment of salivary gland stones.

There are certain salivary gland diseases which can cause recurrent swelling of either the submandibular or parotid gland. These diseases can involve either the gland itself, or affect the salivary gland duct causing narrowing or obstruction. This narrowing or obstruction causes saliva to back up into the gland and causes discomfort while eating.

Sialendoscopy is useful for treatment of diseases which involve the duct of the submandibular gland (Wharton’s Duct) or the duct of the parotid gland (Stensen’s Duct).

Sialendscopy is performed for patients that might have narrowing of their ducts secondary to radiation therapy or other inflammatory diseases. In these cases, sialendoscopy can be used to dilate the ductal system and flush out any debris which may have accumulated in the gland because of obstruction.

It is also performed for patients who have salivary gland stones. In the past, the only treatment for these types patients was removal of the gland itself. We were unable to remove these stones using the video endoscope because the technology did not exist at that time. Now we are able to endoscopically remove these stones using a wire basket, grasper, or a handheld drill the size of a eyelash.