What are the salivary glands?
The salivary glands are the organs that allow salivation , the production of saliva. We have major salivary glands that are the parotid, the submaxillary and the sublingual and then minor salivary glands that are distributed throughout the mouth, by the lips, by the throat, by the palate and that give us the humidity to the whole mouth in all moment.
What diseases affect the salivary glands and what symptoms do they cause?
The salivary glands can suffer from inflammatory diseases and infectious diseases, which cause the enlargement of the gland, pain and in some cases purulent type segregation. In other cases there may be obstructive diseases where a stone is produced, a small stone, which obstructs the duct where the saliva has to leave, then the salivary gland swells again and pain can also occur. In the case of tumor diseases are tumors located in one of these glands and what you notice is a palpable lump in that gland.
In which cases is surgical intervention necessary, does it always involve extirpation?
In cases where we have some obstruction in the salivary glands it may be necessary to make an intervention that would consist in opening the canal to remove that stone that produces the obstruction or in some cases in which the deterioration of the salivary gland is already very pronounced, having to do the removal of the affected gland. In cases of tumors, it will always be necessary to remove the entire gland to ensure sufficient surgical margins that ensure the removal and healing of the tumor with guarantees.
How is the surgery of the salivary glands and what complications does it present?
The surgery of the tumors of the major salivary glands is an important surgery that will require admission to the clinic and in most cases a general anesthesia.. In the case of the parotid is an external approach surgery, in front of the ear, which will require the location of the trunk of the facial nerve and the monitoring of its branches to avoid the most feared complication in these cases, which is facial paralysis , although it is transitory, that supposes the weakness of a part of the face and the absence of the movement in that piece of face. In the case of the submaxillary gland we will have to locate the mandibular branch of the facial nerve and the lingual nerve, which will allow us to avoid that one half of the tongue is insensible. In the case of the sublingual gland whose approach is made inside the mouth, we will also have to locate the lingual nerve at the end of the resection to avoid equally the possibility of an anesthesia of the lack of sensitivity in the middle of the tongue.
Therefore they are delicate surgeries that require expert hands and well trained in this type of surgery.