ZocdocAnswersIs there a procedure to remove stones from the salivary ducts?

Question

Is there a procedure to remove stones from the salivary ducts?

I have recently had some small stones develop in my saliva glands. They will sometimes pass, but may lodge in the duct for a period of time prior. This has caused painful swelling. I have seen a lasso type of apparatus that penetrates the duct, and pulls out the stone, but do not know the name of the procedure, or where it is done. Are the any meds for this condition? I am 45, male, and normally healthy. I do experience dry mouth at times. I do not use drugs, drink socially, and take Zoloft.

Answer

Sialoendoscopy and lithotripsy, the medical names of the procedures where a scope is passed into the duct of the salivary gland (sialoendoscopy) and the removal or destruction of the stone (lithotripsy), are relatively new here in the United States, but have been practiced for some time in Europe with excellent results. Traditionally in the US, people with recurrent stones have been recommended to have the entire offending gland removed. While this remains the gold standard (in that there should be no recurrence of the stone after this procedure), newer and less invasive methods are becoming more commonplace. While recurrence of the stone remains a possibility with sialoendoscopy, the procedure is generally well tolerated and patients will often not require the procedure again. It has the added benefit of often being able to performed in an office based or outpatient setting. While it is gaining acceptance, it will still be necessary to find an ear-nose-and throat surgeon (otolaryngologist) who is familiar with the technique and has the necessary equipment. You should be able to call the office of local otolaryngologists who will be happy to discuss the matter with you and determine if this procedure is appropriate in your situation.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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