Treatment for Salivary Gland Disorders

Salivary glands create saliva to help us chew, swallow and digest food. Many adults may experience problems with their salivary glands at some point in their lives. This may include recurrent infections, decreased function of the gland, or blockages of the ducts due to salivary gland stones (also known as sialoliths).

At Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, we offer a leading-edge, high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic sialendoscopy procedure for our salivary gland disorder patients. This minimally invasive sialendoscopy procedure helps visualize any issues in your salivary glands and treat them accordingly. Sialendoscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that does not involve external skin incisions. The risk of damaging nerves and blood vessels is also very minimal.

During the sialendoscopy procedure, a small endoscopic camera is inserted into the duct of the affected salivary gland. The camera allows our otolaryngology experts to see the inside of the main salivary gland ducts and identify areas that are affected. This procedure not only allows our surgeons to diagnose problems, but can also allow surgeons to manage the problem at the same time. For example, if there is a small salivary gland stone that is obstructing normal salivary flow through the duct resulting in recurrent infections, this procedure allows surgeons to remove the stone endoscopically. Our goal is to perform a highly tolerated, safe and brief procedure to restore your salivary gland function. Most of our patients can resume normal activities and regular diet shortly following the sialendoscopy.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Symptoms of salivary gland disorders include:

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Facial pain
  • Inflammation and infection(sialadenitis)of the submandibular or parotid glands
  • Mouth pain
  • Salivary stones (sialolithiasis)
  • Swelling of the sides of the face or under the jaw, often times worsened during eating

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Penn State Health Otolaryngology. One of our specialists will perform a comprehensive evaluation and create a treatment plan designed to fit your needs.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Penn State Health is committed to providing our patients with the highest level of care possible. Our sialendoscopy procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that offers both a diagnosis and treatment at the same time, restoring primary salivary gland functions and returning patients to their active lifestyles.

Commitment to Clinical Trials

The Penn State Health Otolaryngology team is committed to furthering ear, nose and throat research and clinical trials in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine. Learn more about our clinical trials.

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