Jefferson University Hospitals


Surgery to remove the salivary gland has traditionally been the only option for treating sialolithiasis, a condition in which painful stones form within a salivary gland. But Jefferson physicians offer a new procedure to spare the salivary gland.

Known as sialendoscopy, Jefferson is the only hospital in the Philadelphia region performing this minimally invasive procedure. Sialendoscopy allows our physicians to get into the incredibly small ducts while avoiding open surgery.

The stones most commonly occur in the salivary glands located under the jaw, called submandibular glands. They can also occur in the parotid gland, located in the cheek.

What Does Sialendoscopy Involve?

The duct of the gland is dilated to allow passage of the sialendoscope. The sialendoscope is a tiny lighted scope, about 1.5 millimeters wide, that is attached to a camera and has a channel for microinstruments.

Physicians use the sialendoscope to examine the inside of the gland, which is magnified on a monitor in the operating room. A wire basket is passed through and tightened around the stones for removal. The duct can then be further examined and flushed if needed.