Tumors of the large salivary glands are common. In most cases, the parotid gland is affected - followed by the mandibular parotid gland and the small salivary glands.
Most tumors of the salivary glands (about 80 percent) are benign and are characterized by slow, painless growth. In addition to a detailed patient interview and clinical examination, we usually perform sonography of the salivary glands.
The therapy of benign tumors of the salivary glands usually involves a partial removal of the parotid gland. In order to minimize the risk of intraoperative injury to the facial nerves, we perform the procedure using neuromonitoring. The surgical therapy in most cases promises a permanent cure.
Malignant tumors of the salivary glands are clinically characterized by faster growth, possibly with accompanying facial nerve paralysis. If a malignant change is suspected, the diagnosis can be supplemented by a sonographically controlled biopsy and an MRI or CT.
Therapeutically, a combination of surgery and subsequent radiotherapy is often necessary, including the lymphatic drainage system. In addition to the complete removal of the affected gland, the operation usually includes resection and reconstruction of the facial nerves as well as neck dissection.
Malignant tumors of the salivary glands are treated in the
Inflammatory diseases of the salivary glands
Inflammatory diseases of the salivary glands are very common. They can be acute, recurrent or chronic and are often caused by viral or bacterial infections. Other possible causes can be a reduced fluid intake, systemic infections or autoimmune diseases.
Likewise, salivary stones can constrict or obstruct the duct system of the large salivary glands (mandibular and parotid glands) and lead to painful swelling of the affected gland. In addition to clinical examination, the first-choice diagnostic tool is sonography. Whereas in the past it was usually necessary to surgically remove the entire gland, nowadays it is possible to treat with the help of non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures to preserve the gland.
Non-inflammatory diseases include the so-called sialadenosis. This is a bilateral, painless swelling, usually of the parotid glands, which is caused by a secretion disorder of the glandular cells. Possible causes include diabetes mellitus, pituitary and thyroid gland diseases or a vitamin and protein deficiency as part of malnutrition.
Usually the diagnosis can be made on the basis of the clinical examination and the sonographic findings. To confirm the diagnosis, it may also be necessary to take a sample from the parotid gland. The treatment of sialadenosis ultimately includes the treatment of the underlying disease.