The Role of Adenectomy for Salivary Gland Obstructions in the Era of Sialendoscopy and Lithotripsy

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Salivary gland ductal obstructions are common, being the most frequent nonneoplastic salivary disorders in adults. Salivary calculi are the main cause of obstruction. Traditional and invasive transcervical sialadenectomy is still the most widely used treatment for perihilar and intraparenchymal obstructive salivary diseases worldwide despite the well-known morbidity related to its functional, neurologic, and aesthetic sequelae. However, improved radiologic imaging, better optical systems and endoscopic devices, and the introduction of minimally invasive therapeutic options have allowed the development of conservative gland-preserving techniques for managing salivary gland obstructions, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, operative sialoendoscopy, video-assisted transoral and transcervical stone removal, and ductal rehabilitation through interventional radiology and sialoendoscopy. Through adopting a minimally invasive and multimodal policy, a significant number (74%-100%, technique dependent) of salivary calculi can be safely and successfully retrieved while leaving an intact and functional salivary gland system. Only 2% to 5% of patients require gland excision. However, long-term follow-up evaluations of obstructive symptom recurrence are needed before the ultimate benefits of a gland-preserving conservative approach and the residual role of adenectomy can be assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1171
Number of pages11
JournalOtolaryngologic Clinics of North America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Lithotripsy
  • Parotid
  • Sialadenitis
  • Sialendoscopy
  • Submandibular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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