First, what is sialadenitis?
Before we outline UTHSC ENT‘s ground-breaking treatment, let’s define the issue: sialadenitis. Affecting children of all ages, sialadenitis is simply a recurring swelling of the salivary glands.
There are two categories: acute and chronic. While acute sialadenitis comes and goes intermittently, chronic sialadenitis can persist for months at a time.
This condition usually occurs in the two large salivary glands on the sides of the face (parotid glands), but can also occur in the salivary glands under the jaw (submandibular glands).
What causes sialadenitis?
Most commonly, this issue is caused by inflammation of the salivary glands, often leading to scarring. Occasionally, salivary gland stones can form and cause an obstruction.
UTHSC’s new treatment: Pediatric Sialendoscopy
Traditionally, the treatment for this condition was removal of the entire salivary gland. However, our team at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital have adopted a game-changing procedure: pediatric sialendoscopy.
With sialendoscopy, we use a very small camera (a sialendoscope) to open the salivary gland, traveling through the salivary gland duct. Next, we break up scar tissue using small dilators. Then, a wire basket and small drill remove any stones. Finally, we inject an anti-inflammatory liquid to reduce the risk of inflammation.
Before, patients with sialadenitis likely had their salivary glands removed. Now, we can treat the issue in a highly-specialized way, preserving the salivary glands, and reducing the risk of larger surgeries.
Our Dream Team is here help
Led by Dr. Anthony Sheyn, our Pediatric ENT division offers a cutting-edge treatment across the board. Pediatric sialendoscopy is just the latest example of our Dream Team’s dedication to adopting new technologies and life-changing procedures.
If your child suffers from a salivary gland issue, Dr. Sheyn is here to help with personalized, expert care. We’d love to hear from you! 901-287-7337