Sialoendoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for treating multiple conditions of the salivary glands. There are 4 major salivary glands (2 on each side) called the submandibular gland (located under the jaw) and the parotid gland (located in the cheek in front of the ear). One common disorder affecting the glands is sialolithiasis, a condition in which stones form in the salivary gland ducts and block the flow of saliva into the mouth. This creates pain and swelling of the gland that worsens with eating. In the past, treatment consisted of surgically removing the stone and gland with external incisions. These surgical options carry significant risks, including scar, nerve injury or loss of function of the salivary gland. Sialoendoscopy decreases these risks while minimizing the recovery period. Dr. Karanfilov first trained on the technology in 2005 and was the first surgeon to perform the procedure in Central Ohio. Ohio Sinus Institute is a leader in this technology and has saved many patients from undergoing open surgical procedures.
Sialoendoscopy involves dilating the duct of the gland (opening into the mouth) to allow passage of the endoscope into the gland. A sialoendoscope is a miniature endoscope attached to a video monitor and has a small channel that allows for instruments to be passed. With the assistance of the video monitor, the passages within the gland (called ducts) can be examined and the instruments, such as a wire basket, can manipulate and remove stones, called sialoliths. In addition, saline and or medications can be flushed into the ducts if required.
There are 2 main limitations with respect to sialoendoscopy. The first is the size and shape of the stone. Each gland has specific size and shape requirements for achieving successful removal of the stone. The second requirement is the specific location of the stone within the gland. Some stones cannot be reached in the gland because of limitations of size of the endoscope. Your surgeon will inform you of your options and recommend the best approach for your particular case.