Sialendoscopy: A Minimally Invasive Treatment for Salivary Stones & Blockages

By Dr. Sandeep Arora in ENT

Feb 20 , 2024 | 1 min read

There are three pairs of salivary glands in the human body that are responsible for the production and flow of saliva. These glands are connected to the mouth by small ducts, parotid glands in the cheek area and submandibular and sublingual glands below the tongue. Salivary gland stones (sialoliths) occur in 1.2% of the population and are one of the main causes of salivary gland infections (sialadenitis). The second major cause of salivary gland obstruction is from adhesions and strictures, which may result from previous salivary gland infections as well as childhood infections such as mumps

Sialendoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can safely and effectively treat obstructive salivary gland disorders and other diseases of the salivary glands. This procedure may be used in isolation or in conjunction with other diagnostic modalities such as ultrasound, X-ray, MRI or CT scans. During the procedure, a small endoscope equipped with a camera and light is introduced through the salivary ducts into the salivary gland to help evaluate, diagnose and treat the problem.Read More :-  Sialendoscopy: A Breakthrough in Salivary Stone Treatment

This procedure is not only diagnostic but also interventional; therefore, it can be used to remove salivary stones, salivary duct lavage, dilatation of stenotic segments, or instillation of various drugs such as corticosteroids or antibiotics. Therefore, sialendoscopy is an effective yet simple modality in the treatment of major salivary gland obstructions, strictures and sialolithiasis (salivary stones). Depending on the nature and level of the obstruction, sialendoscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia or in the operating room under general anaesthesia. It can also be used along with lasers in the treatment of stones. A laser is first used to break up a stone into small pieces, which are then removed using a small dormia basket. If the salivary ducts are narrow, a sialendoscope is used to dilate or enlarge the area. 

Thus, the procedure is minimally invasive and does not require any skin incisions. It has minimal risks and high success rates. Additionally, sialendoscopy reduces morbidity by reducing the proportion of patients requiring complete resection of the affected salivary gland. It can also find and treat stones which may have been previously missed by other diagnostic modalities.