When salivary gland stones become lodged in our saliva ducts or within a gland, removal of the stone may be necessary. With the use of a new, minimally invasive technique known as a sialendoscopy, surgeons can now remove salivary stones as an outpatient procedure, enabling the patient to return to a regular diet and activity immediately after the procedure. The procedure uses a tiny telescope that is about half the size of a spaghetti noodle, which is inserted into the salivary duct through the mouth. Once inside the duct, a variety of instruments are used to clean out the duct and remove the stones. This procedure typically takes about 1 hour and is done with the patient asleep under anesthesia. Sialendoscopy is an excellent treatment for individuals who suffer from chronic salivary gland stones or those who are have larger stones that cause pain and block saliva ducts. This minimally invasive procedure comes with several benefits, including:
- No external skin incision and no scar in most cases
- Rapid recovery
- Return home same day
- Very little pain and swelling afterwards
Recovery following sialendoscopy Once you have recovered from anesthesia, you will be allowed to return home. You may resume a regular diet as soon as you feel well, and resume full activity in a day or two as you feel able. It is a good idea to drink some extra water for the first 2 weeks to aid in the return to normal function of the gland. Pain is usually minimal, but you may be prescribed some pain medications as needed. Following sialendoscopy, it's very common to notice an increase in the flow of saliva and the production of saliva. This is normal as the gland is now able to function more normally. This will not cause a problem and may aid in swallowing, etc.