Salivary Gland Surgery

salivary gland

What is Salivary Gland Surgery?

There are three main salivary glands in our body: in front of the ear, under the chin and under the tongue. Apart from these, there are also hundreds of minor salivary glands. Infection, stones and tumors are the main salivary gland diseases.

Salivary Gland Stones

Salivary gland stones are most common in the salivary gland under the jaw. The consistency of the gland here is slightly darker than the others, and the excretion channel into the mouth is from bottom to top; that is, it is in the opposite direction. Because of these factors, more stones form in the salivary gland under the jaw. Reasons for the formation of salivary gland stones include decrease in salivary flow, increase in salivary pH value, oral hygiene and gum diseases.

Salivary Gland Stone Symptoms

Complaints caused by salivary gland stones vary depending on the location of the stone, the degree of obstruction, the rate of secretion and the presence of infection. The most typical symptom is swelling and pain in the gland where the stone is located when a food that increases salivation is consumed (such as lemon). The diagnosis of salivary gland stones is made by physician examination and radiology examinations. The most commonly used radiological diagnostic methods are ultrasound and computed tomography. If there is an infection along with the stone, the infection is treated first. Fluid intake and antibiotics are methods used to treat infections. Surgery is used for classical salivary gland stone treatment. With endoscopic surgery (closed surgery method), stones are removed through the mouth with special tools without opening an incision.

Salivary gland surgery

Salivary Gland Tumor

Most salivary gland tumors arise from the salivary gland in front of the ear. Next comes the submandibular salivary gland. Most tumors (about 80 percent) are benign tumors. The rate of malignant salivary gland tumors is 20 percent. The most common type of benign salivary gland tumors is "pleomorphic adenoma". "Warthin tumor" comes in second place. The most common malignant salivary gland tumors are "mucoepidermoid cancer" and "adenoid cystic cancer".

Pleomorphic adenoma grows slowly in the salivary gland in front of the ear, where it is most commonly located. A round swelling that can be felt and moves is usually seen. This swelling does not cause pain. Sometimes patients may not notice this mass for a long time. Malignant tumors grow quickly. They cause a harder swelling and are not very mobile. During the examination, the doctor manually checks this mass and evaluates facial nerve function (malignant tumors can cause facial paralysis). MRI and computed tomography are most commonly used in diagnosis. However, we obtain information about the type of tumor through pathological examination. Sometimes we may encounter a different result than the results obtained in pathology.

Salivary gland tumors are treated with surgery. In benign tumors, sometimes the part where the tumor is involved is removed, and sometimes the entire gland is removed. A more extensive surgical procedure is performed for salivary gland cancer (malignant). The entire gland can be removed, or if there is an area affected by the facial nerves, that part can also be removed. A nerve can be added to the removed area from another part of the body, or it may be necessary to sacrifice some branches of the nerve. Radiation therapy may be required in addition to malignant salivary gland tumor surgery.

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