Sialendoscopy

You have been scheduled for a procedure performed on your salivary glands. There are six large salivary glands in the body, made up of three pairs of parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. Saliva drains from each gland though ducts. A sialendoscopy is usually perfomed to examine the salivary duct system for problems such as pain or swelling due to salivary duct stones (sialolithiasis) and scarring (stenosis). Extremely small and flexible endoscopes (sialendoscopes) contain a small camera and are used to enter the salivary ducts through the mouth to examine the salivary duct system.

What is involved in a sialendoscopy?

This procedure involves general anesthetic and sedation.

Once sedated, the surgeon will widen the gland duct using different sized tubes until the endoscope can be inserted. When the duct is at a proper size, the sialendoscope can be inserted into the duct system. The sialendoscope can also be used to insert small instruments, such as a small wire basket, to remove salivary stones from the salivary gland, inject medication into the gland, wash the inside of the gland, and stretch the glands to make them bigger. This procedure involves limited or no incisions in the mouth and is a great alternative to open surgery or complete salivary gland removal. This procedure generally takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

What should I expect after surgery?

Patients are monitored in the recovery room by a nurse. You can usually eat and drink as soon as you feel like it, and you will be discharged home the same day.

You may be given mouthwash to use twice a day for a week to keep the wounded area clean. We do advise that you take time off from work to recover. A follow-up appointment should be set up for a month after your surgery.

Possible complications:

Pain and swelling are not uncommon symptoms after the procedure. Regular painkillers can relieve any pain or discomfort.

Very rare complications include bleeding, infection, scarring (inside the mouth), dry mouth, numbness of the tongue, duct stenosis, gland or duct perforation, or return of initial symptoms.