Doctors Hospital of Augusta February 13, 2013

Augusta, GA – They are the glands found in and around your throat, responsible for helping your body do things essential for life such as eating and drinking. When they are compromised by disease, surgery may be the only option to feel “normal” again. New technology can help patients in their battle of salivary disease, something that sounds rare, but is more common than most think.

Individuals typically begin to recognize they have a salivary gland issue when they experience one or more of the following symptoms: swelling of the face, pain in the cheek or jaw area, pain or discomfort while eating, or a bitter taste in the mouth. These symptoms often mean a salivary gland stone; material in the duct formed when the flow of saliva decreases, blocking the outflow of saliva, causing swelling and pain in the gland.

Traditionally, the only treatment option for persistent salivary gland stones associated with inflammation was surgery. Surgery could include removal of the entire salivary gland and duct with stone removal potentially causing several severe complications. Salivary glands are located close to nerves that are necessary for normal facial movement, taste, and sensation so complications when they occur are often life changing.

There is now another option. Dr. Jonathan Lindman, a Doctors Hospital Otolaryngologist, or ear nose and throat physician, performs sialoendoscopy, a cutting edge procedure that allows successful stone removal without injury to surrounding structures and with no external incision. Dr. Lindman notes that, “Sometimes patients don’t know they have options when it comes to treating salivary gland disease. It has been fantastic having an additional minimally-invasive treatment available.”

In fact, the procedure that causes patients to experience little or no pain, and allows patients to be discharged the same day and return home to resume normal activities and diet quickly.