Sialendoscopy is a surgical procedure that involves the insertion of a thin tube with a tiny camera into the duct (tiny channels) of a salivary gland for diagnosis or treatment purposes. How long will a sialendoscopy take depends on factors such as the type of anesthesia given (local or general) and purpose for which it is perfor
med. A sialendoscopy can be performed for diagnostic purposes to identify problems with the salivary glands (particularly the parotid and submandibular glands) or to treat any problems in the glands. If the procedure is for diagnosis, it usually takes up to half an hour. For therapeutic purpose (surgery) such as removing stones from the salivary duct, the procedure can take up to 1 hour.
Sialendoscopy uses a small, tube-like camera called an endoscope that is inserted in your mouth so that it reaches the salivary glands. This helps the doctor visualize, identify, and remove obstructions such as stones or debris. Once inside the gland, various instruments are used to clean the duct and remove stones. The duct is a channel in the salivary gland that transports the saliva from the salivary gland to your mouth. A sialendoscopy may be performed under local or general anesthesia.
Why is a sialendoscopy performed?
A sialendoscopy can be performed for dealing with disorders of the salivary glands. These particularly include the salivary stones and narrowing of the salivary duct. These issues can lead to obstruction in the salivary duct. As a result, you may get recurrent pain and swelling.
A sialendoscopy is the most beneficial for individuals with long-standing (chronic) salivary gland stones or those who have larger stones that cause pain and block the salivary ducts. Earlier, removal of the salivary gland was the only option in such cases. With the use of the minimally invasive procedure, sialendoscopy, it is possible to preserve the glands.
Through a sialendoscopy, the narrowed portion of the salivary duct can be stretched to allow better salivary flow.
It may also be performed for removing a small piece of the salivary gland to check for cancer. This procedure known as biopsy helps in the diagnosis of cancer. The removed piece is sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope.
Sialenodoscopy comes with several benefits, including:
- Reduced pain and swelling
- Minimal to no scar
- Early discharge (the same day of procedure)
- Rapid recovery
How long does it take to recover from a sialendoscopy?
A sialendoscopy can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
You will be observed for a few hours to check your recovery from the general anesthesia. Once you regain consciousness, you will be allowed to return home.
You can resume your normal diet and activity immediately after the procedure. You can even return to your workplace in a day or two or whenever you start feeling well.
You may notice increased salivation for a few days, which is normal and good to speed up the healing process.
What are the complications of a sialendoscopy?
Most patients who undergo sialendoscopy do not develop any complications. However, although rare, the risk of few (mostly temporary) complications do exist. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor regarding the same.
The possible risks of a sialendoscopy include:
- Nerve damage
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