Salivary gland disorders can be divided into infection/inflammation or tumours.
Any patient with salivary gland infection will complain of a painful swelling that developed over a few days. Pain and swelling usually increase with meals. These episodes may be recurrent especially if they are precipitated by salivary duct stones causing obstruction to the salivary flow.
Acute treatment consists of painkillers and antibiotics. However, if the episodes are recurrent, a computed tomography scan or sialendoscopy is performed to look for possible stones or other causes of ductal obstruction.
A sialendoscopy is a tiny scope that is passed into the salivary duct which allows visualization of the ductal lumen. There are special forceps and catheters that can be passed through this scope that enable extraction of stones and administration of medication such as steroids. Hence, this procedure is both diagnostic and therapeutic.
In cases whereby the salivary ductal stones are too large or too deep within the salivary gland parenchyma to be reached by the sialendoscope, surgery is then advised.
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