Salivary Gland Surgery
At Herzliya Medical Center salivary gland surgery is a relatively routine procedure, conducted by experienced ENT specialists trained in the latest advances of precision diagnostics and personalized medical care.
What are the indications for salivary gland surgery?
The normal functioning of the salivary glands is essential to the healthy bacterial flora of the month and the proper digestion of food. From the salivary glands ducts lead the saliva into the oral cavity. In case of the dysfunction of either the salivary glands or the ducts patients may experience:
- painful swelling in the mouth
- unpleasant taste in the mouth
- presence of puss in the mouth
There may be diverse causes behind these symptoms, the most common of which are:
- Bacterial and viral infections of the salivary glands, caused by flu, mumps or the Epstein-Barr virus
- The blockage of the salivary duct, resulting in an infection and a sore lump formed in the mouth, surrounded by puss. The blockage can be down to tiny stones amassed from saliva crystal deposits that don’t let saliva leave the ducts. Parotid stones must be cleared out to prevent further swelling and possible infection.
- A chronic blockage in the outflow of the saliva can end in cysts the removal of which, just like that of parotid stones, requires salivary gland surgery.
- The salivary glands are also prone to tumorous growths, both benign and malignant, among which the most frequently occurring malignancy is parotid tumor, with a number of potentially life-threatening sub-types (adenocarcinomas, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, adenocystic carcinoma). Parotid tumor in most cases requires surgery, when detected early-stage, a timely parotidectomy can be a feasible solution.
Salivary Gland Surgery at Herzliya Medical Center
Parotidectomy – It is the most commonly performed salivary gland surgery at Herzliya Medical Center. Parotidectomy refers to the full or partial removal of either of the parotid glands, which consist of two parts: the so-called superficial lobe and deep lobe divided by the facial nerve.
In case of parotid stones or other blockages, if swelling and inflammation do not respond to conservative treatment, the surgical relief of the affected area, or in serious cases a parotidectomy should be performed. Likewise, quite a few parotidectomy procedures are performed at Herzliya Medical Center due to a parotid tumor.
There are several techniques in medical practice depending on the extent of removal:
Superficial parotidectomy refers to the procedure that removes part of the parotid gland superior to the facial nerve. If the parotid tumor is small and has clear boundaries, surgeons opt for this solution.
In total parotidectomy the parotid gland is removed in its totality, carefully dissecting it from the facial nerve to keep in intact.
When the facial nerve is also affected, however, a radical parotidectomy is advisable, removing the facial nerve along with other diseased surrounding bone and skin tissues.
Parotidectomy is always performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes the incision starting from in front of the ear and goes down along the crease of the neck. After the operation, patients usually stay overnight in hospital, and are ideally discharged the next day.
As there are many other salivary glands in your mouth they are usually able to take over the role of the removed one, so patients do not normally experience any change in salivary flow.
After full recovery, if need be, patients are admitted to the Plastic Surgery Department at Herzliya Medical Center for further reconstructive or aesthetic procedures.