Board-certified parotid expert, Dr. Babak Larian, and his team of specialists at the CENTER provide safe and minimally invasive treatment for parotid and salivary gland stones. Through the use of an advanced procedure called a sialendoscopy during salivary gland surgery, they are able to extract the stones, eliminate painful symptoms, and restore one's quality of life.
What is a Salivary or Parotid Stone?
A parotid stone develops when chemicals, debris and calcium build up to form a small rock-like object, also known as a stone, that becomes lodged in the salivary or parotid glands. Stones can vary in shape and size, and typically feel like a hard sponge. When they occur, they often block the duct to the gland, resulting in swelling, inflammation, and infection, as well as an inability for saliva to pass through properly.
Although many individuals with parotid and salivary gland stones are asymptomatic (or not showing symptoms), some patients may present the following symptoms:
- Painful swelling of the salivary gland that worsens with eating.
- Inflammation and infection of the affected gland that may stay.
Although the exact cause of this painful condition is unknown, experts do know that certain individuals are more at risk of developing stones than others. For example, stones are more likely to affect individuals who are elderly, suffer from gout or kidney disease, or have undergone head and neck radiotherapy.
Additional risk factors for developing parotid and salivary gland stones include dehydration, poor eating, trauma to the salivary glands and certain medications including blood pressure, psychiatric and bladder control drugs.
An Overview of Sialendoscopy
When a patient is suffering from parotid or salivary gland stones, Dr. Larian will commonly perform a minimally invasive sialendoscopy, or endoscopic salivary duct surgery, which uses a very thin scope to go through the duct to extract the stones and resolve the condition. A sialendoscopy is the preferred treatment method for parotid and salivary gland stones located in the ducts of the gland, because it resolves the condition without requiring the full or partial removal of the affected gland.
Commonly performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, Dr. Larian will begin the surgery by entering the duct of the affected gland with a thin, specialized endoscope. From there, he will locate the stone and expertly extract it with a tiny metal basket. A relatively quick and painless procedure, patients are often able to return home within an hour following surgery with no external scarring or tissue damage to the surrounding areas. In the majority of cases, symptoms of the stones such as pain and swelling will begin to resolve immediately following your salivary gland surgery, with a full recovery occurring within one week.
Preventing Additional Parotid and Salivary Gland Stones
While some individuals will only experience a single salivary gland stone in their lifetime, others may be prone to recurring stones and infections. Although a sialendoscopy is an excellent way to minimize the development of future stones, they may continue to recur in some patients.
As prior stones increase one's chance of developing additional stones, patients are advised to take specific preventative measures, including increasing their fluid intake and maintaining impeccable oral care.
Meet The Team
Led by board-certified parotid surgeon, Dr. Babak Larian, our team of specialists has decades of experience successfully diagnosing and treating diseases of the parotid glands with minimally invasive procedures. Distinguished by our compassionate care and cutting-edge techniques, the CENTER has developed a reputation for delivering the best parotid tumor surgery available.Learn More >>
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