Sialendoscopy: A Minimally Invasive Solution for Salivary Gland Disorders

The salivary glands are responsible for producing and secreting saliva, which plays a crucial role in digestion and maintaining oral health. However, sometimes these glands can become blocked or infected, causing pain, swelling, and other complications. Traditionally, treating these conditions required invasive surgical procedures, such as surgical removal of the affected gland, but with the advent of sialendoscopy Los Angeles patients now have a minimally invasive solution.

What is Sialendoscopy?

Now offered at LACENTA in Los Angeles Sialendoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic technique used to evaluate and treat salivary gland disorders. It involves using an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light attached to it, to visualize the inside of the salivary ducts and glands. The endoscope is inserted through a small incision made in the mouth or skin, allowing the physician to examine the affected area and perform various procedures to treat the condition.

Sialendoscopy Q&A with Dr. Mendelsohn

What Conditions Can Sialendoscopy Treat?

Sialendoscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of salivary gland disorders, including:

  • Salivary stones: These are calcified deposits, some a few millimeters, some over a centimeter, that can form within the salivary ducts, leading to blockages and inflammation.
  • Salivary gland infections: These occur when bacteria or viruses infect the salivary glands, causing swelling, pain, and fever.
  • Salivary gland stenosis: This is a less frequent cause of saliva flow blockage caused by a scar or narrowing of the canal in which saliva flows.

What are the Benefits of Sialendoscopy?

Sialendoscopy offers several benefits over traditional surgical procedures, including:

  • Minimally invasive: Sialendoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, which means that it causes less pain, scarring, and downtime than traditional surgeries.
  • Reduced risk of complications: Since sialendoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, the risk of complications such as bleeding, infection, and nerve damage is much lower than with traditional surgeries.
  • Highly Successful: Success rates of high-volume surgeons are around 95% in diagnosing and permanently fixing the underlying condition.
  • Keep the gland: Sialendoscopy allows for the gland to continue producing the saliva needed for a healthy mouth and teeth.
  • Faster recovery: Patients who undergo sialendoscopy typically experience faster recovery times than those who undergo traditional surgeries.
  • Improved outcomes: Sialendoscopy allows for more precise visualization and treatment of salivary gland disorders, which can lead to improved outcomes and fewer recurrences.

What is the Procedure for Sialendoscopy?

The procedure for sialendoscopy typically involves the following steps:

  1. Anesthesia: The patient is given general anesthesia for the 45-60 minute procedure.
  2. Dilation: The physician uses tiny probes (about 1-2 mm) to gently stretch the natural opening of the duct of the affected salivary gland.
  3. Endoscopy: The endoscope is inserted through the natural opening and into the salivary ducts or gland, allowing the physician to visualize the affected area and perform various procedures.
  4. Stone removal: If a salivary stone is present, the physician can use various instruments to remove it, such as a small wire basket. Sometimes, when stones get large enough, a small incision in the mouth is needed to release the stone.
  5. Irrigation: The salivary ducts and gland are irrigated with saline solution to flush out any remaining debris or infection.
  6. Closure: Any incision which may have been needed is fixed in an open position with sutures to achieve lifelong salivary flow from the duct. At certain times, a small (1.2mm) specialized stent is left in for two weeks to ensure optimal healing of the duct.

FAQs about Sialendoscopy

Q: Is Sialendoscopy a painful procedure?

A: Sialendoscopy is generally well-tolerated and causes minimal discomfort. Patients may experience some soreness or swelling after the procedure, but this typically resolves within a few days. Stone removal recovery is similar to healing from a pulled tooth.

Q: How long does the procedure take?

A: The length of the procedure depends on the extent of the problem being addressed. In most cases, sialendoscopy takes anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour to perform, depending on the issue which is being addressed.

Q: What is the recovery period like after Sialendoscopy?

A: The recovery period after sialendoscopy is typically shorter than traditional surgery. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days, although some may require a longer period of rest.

Q: Are there any risks or complications associated with Sialendoscopy?

A: As with any medical procedure, there are risks and complications associated with sialendoscopy. These may include bleeding, infection, damage to the salivary gland ducts, or recurrence of the condition. However, these risks are generally low and can be minimized with proper technique and postoperative care.

Q: Is Sialendoscopy covered by my health insurance?

A: While sialendoscopy is still an “unlisted” surgical code, a large number of insurance plans will cover this procedure; however, even if it is not covered, our offices will work to ensure we can obtain coverage for the maximum amount of the surrounding procedural costs.

Choose Your Preferred Los Angeles Location

East LA

1700 E. Cesar Chavez Ave
Suite 2500
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Book Online Now



1577 E. Chevy Chase Dr.
Suite 330
Glendale, CA 91206

Book Online Now



1300 N. Vermont Ave
Suite 605
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Book Online Now



433 N. 4th Street
Suite 212
Montebello, CA 90640

Book Online Now



800 Fairmount Ave, #411
Pasadena, CA 91105

Book Online Now


Downtown LA

1414 S Grand Ave
Suite 123
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Book Online Now


Huntington Park

3268 E. Gage Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255

Book Online Now


South Bay

14650 Aviation Blvd, #100
South Bay, CA 90250

Book Online Now



41250 12th St West
Suite C
Palmdale, CA 93551

Book Online Now


Palm Springs

1180 N Indian Canyon Dr
Suite E311
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Book Online Now


Los Angeles Center for Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy

East LA Glendale Hollywood Montebello Pasadena Downtown Huntington Park South Bay Palmdale Palm Springs