A large number of substances are secreted in different organs in the human body. Salivary glands take on the task of secreting saliva. With salivary gland canal stone and tumor surgery, important medical problems of the patient are eliminated. Calcium crystals in saliva, also called sialolites, can cause the salivary canal to become clogged. This condition prevents the flow of saliva, leading to pain and swelling in the patient.
Salivary gland tumors can be benign (benign) or malignant. Benign tumors are also called mixed tumors and are one of the most common tumors. In malignant tumors, mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common type of cancer. Mostly patients are over 40 years old. It can also occur due to large salivary glands, including the front of the ear (parotid gland). Salivary gland canal tumor surgery aims to solve the patient's medical problem.
What is Salivary Gland?
The salivary gland is located in the neck and head area and helps the digestive prompt with the saliva it secretes. These organic are connected by channels to areas such as the mouth, swallow, nose, throat and sinus. In human anatomy, there are 6 salivary glands in total, 3 each on the left and right sides of the face. These are also called major salivary glands. At the same time, there are microscopically minor salivary glands inside the mucous membisus.
Major salivary glands; it is known as parotis gland (front of ear), sublingual gland (sublingual) and submandibular gland (under chin). Saliva secreted by the salivary glands is both involved in the digestive system and keeps other organs in the area moists. However, saliva fights against microorganisms that cause infection thanks to the substances in it and also actively acts in the immune system. Therefore, the stone or tumor formed in the salivary gland should be treated and controlled immediately.
Which Area Is The Salivary Gland Looking At?
The saliva area is located in the body in the neck due to its location. However, it has a direct connection to the mouth, nose and throat. Therefore, for medical problems occurring in the salivary gland and canal, help is obtained from the ear, nose and throat (ENT) section. The ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist listens to his/her history and physically examines the patient while examining him. If tenderness or redness is present in the upper part of the salivary gland, painkillers and edema-reducing drugs are used first.
The physician then tries to cure the infection with massage treatments and abundant fluid intake. The ENT specialist determines the location, size and number of stones in the salivary gland through ultrasound. If the treatments do not respond, different surgical techniques are tried. After the stones are removed by surgery, fluid consumption is increased to prevent re-formation, drugs that will increase saliva secretion, antibiotic treatments etc. are applied to prevent infection.
What is Salivary Gland Canal Stone and Tumor Surgery?
Infections, insufficient fluid intake, decreased salivary production, salivary gland duct stenosis, calcium accumulation in dead cell residues and certain drugs are involved in the formation of salivary gland stones. If the saliva stone is located under the chin, it has larger dimensions than those in front of the ear. If the stone diameter is not much larger than the channel diameter of the salivary gland, both diagnosis and treatment can be carried out at the same time using endoscopy.
Salivary gland tumors are widely observed in the parotid gland. In some cases, it occurs in the sublingual glands. For the diagnosis of the tumor, the ear, nose and throat doctor takes a biopsy sample from the area and decides on the operation with the results from the pathologist. Usually a tumor occurs due to microscopic salivary glands. It is thought that alcohol, smoking and radiation are among the factors that trigger malignant salivary gland tumors.
How to Perform Salivary Gland Canal Stone and Tumor Surgery?
Salivary gland canal stone and tumor surgery is often performed by ENT specialists. General anesthesia is mostly preferred during the operation. The ear, nose and throat surgeon makes incisions under the chin from the mouth, giving access to the salivary gland in front of the ear, also known as parotis. After removing the skin in the area, stones in the salivary gland canal can be cleaned. During the operation, an endoscope with a camera and light is used at the end. If the stones cannot be removed in this way, classical treatment is used and the salivary gland is completely removed from the patient.
In tumor surgeries, the tumor formed in the salivary gland and the healthy tissue around it are removed. The surgeon first detects the facial nerves and secures the nerves, including all branches. At this point, the nerve monitor device is highly functional and both recognizes and protects facial nerves. Tumors that occur in swallow or palata-like parts should also be completely removed during the operation. Depending on the situation, the cervical glands are also surgically removed by the ear, nose and throat specialist.
Salivary Gland Canal Stone and Tumor Surgery
Salivary gland canal stone and other treatment methods are tried before tumor surgery. Early diagnosis is extremely important for the patient. Ear nose and throat specialist observes the mass that occurs under the earlobe, jawbone, under the tongue or in front of the auricle to diagnose benign saliva. This mass can grow slowly and be mobile in general. It is also hand-felt and has a smooth border.
In malignant salivary glands, the mass grows rapidly. It remains immobile during the manual examination performed by the physician. It can cause pain and sometimes facial paralysis in a way that strains the patient. In addition to ultrasound, the physician determines the methods related to the operation by using imaging methods such as magnetic resonance (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). Surgery is the most effective treatment for salivary gland tumors.
What are the Advantages of Salivary Gland Canal Stone and Tumor Surgery?
Salivary gland canal stone and tumor surgery ends the painful process experienced by the patient. At the same time, the swelling caused by the tumor decreases. Moreover, the operation does not cause medical problems such as inability to secrete saliva or dry mouth. If the salivary gland is removed, the salivary glands on the other part of the face work effectively. If the tumor in the salivary gland is malignant, it is prevented from spreading to the surrounding organs, causing different problems.
Salivary Gland Canal Stone and Tumor Surgery Post-Process
After salivary gland canal stone and tumor surgery, the patient is discharged after 1 or 2 days depending on the physician's preferences. Food is not eaten or liquid consumed until the effect of anesthesia is completely gone (estimated around 3 – 4 hours). Then it can be fed with liquid foods. It can take several days to return to routine feeding while soft foods are eaten on the following day. It is not recommended to shower for the first 7 days after surgery, numbness may occur even for 1 year in the area.
It is extremely common to have mild pain after salivary gland canal stone and tumor surgery and usually ends with painkillers. Drains are removed within 1 or 2 days after surgery. The patient's stitches are removed after one week. In addition, redness or sweating of a non-disturbing size may occur in the salivary gland canal. There is a risk of temporary and mild facial paralysis after the operation.