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Expert Ear, Nose and Throat Care in Northeast Ohio

Medical and surgical expertise in the treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders, as well as common head and neck issues.

To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

ent doctor with little girl

Salivary Gland Disorders

The body has six major salivary glands which supply a mixture of thick and thin saliva to help in dental health, taste and food digestion. These glands can be prone to both benign and malignant tumors, as well inflammatory and obstructive conditions.

The MetroHealth Department of Otolaryngology offers comprehensive treatment for salivary gland disorders including:

  • Benign and malignant salivary neoplasms
  • Autoimmune disorders (i.e. Sjogren’s)
  • Sialadenitis – Infectious or Inflammatory causes
  • Radioactive iodine-induced salivary gland damage – thyroid cancer therapy
  • Salivary obstruction – Strictures, Stones, Sialectasia
  • Sialorrhea (drooling)
  • Ranulas

 

Common Symptoms

Symptoms that can result from and/or indicate a condition of the salivary gland include:

  • Pain over the glands
  • Facial swelling that occurs with eating
  • A hard lump in front of the ear or below the jaw.
  • A foul taste in the mouth
  • Loss of saliva production

 

Surgical Treatment

Because of delicate cranial nerves that control tongue, taste, and facial movement functions, surgical therapy of the salivary glands can be complex.

At MetroHealth, our surgeons perform a high volume of traditional salivary gland surgeries for tumors and growths within the glands.  These surgeries include:

  • Parotidectomy
  • Submandibular gland removal
  • Sublingual gland resection.

Additional surgeries employed by MetroHealth ear, nose and throat surgeons also include, when appropriate:

  • Minimally-invasive surgery
  • Outpatient (and sometimes in-office) salivary gland surgeries and procedures: drainless parotidectomy and submandibular gland excision, sialendoscopy, and botox therapy.

 

What is Sialendoscopy?

Photo of David Ludlow MDSialendoscopy is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure for diagnosis and treatment of obstructive and inflammatory salivary gland disorders.

The procedure involves stretching (dilation) of the natural opening of the salivary tube (duct) leading to the mouth followed by passage of a 1mm endoscope into the opening.

The endoscope is passed through the duct to the opening of the gland (called the hilum). A saline solution is used to help with visualization of the duct and to irrigate your gland.  In cases of debris or salivary stones or strictures, the endoscope can be used to remove the obstruction from the duct and restore normal salivary flow.

David Ludlow, MD performs sialendoscopy procedures at MetroHealth.