What is a salivary gland mass?

A salivary gland mass is a lump or growth within the tissues of the salivary glands, which are responsible for producing saliva. This lump can be benign or malignant and may arise in any of the major salivary glands — the parotid, submandibular, sublingual, and minor glands located throughout the mouth and throat.

What causes a salivary gland mass to develop?

Masses typically develop when cells within the glands grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. The cause of this abnormal cell growth is not always known, but some factors include genetic predispositions, environmental influences, and previous radiation exposure. Most masses are benign, meaning they are non-cancerous and do not spread to other body parts. However, a small percentage can be malignant, making timely diagnosis and treatment critical.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary depending on the size and location of the mass but may include difficulty swallowing, facial pain, or a noticeable lump in the neck or mouth. A thorough examination by an ENT specialist is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and to determine the appropriate course of action. At Louisiana ENT, we are equipped with advanced diagnostic tools and have a wealth of experience in managing and treating salivary gland masses, ensuring that our patients receive the highest standard of care.

  • Difficulty swallowing: A sensation of obstruction or discomfort when eating or drinking.
  • Facial muscle weakness: Noticeable reduction in facial muscle control, which may affect expression or speech.
  • Pain: Discomfort localized in the area of the salivary glands, which can range from mild to severe.
  • Facial numbness: A loss of sensation in the facial region, indicating possible nerve involvement.
  • Presence of a lump: Detectable swelling or lump in the jaw, neck, or mouth that may be palpable.
  • Swelling: Visible or palpable enlargement near the jaw, neck, or mouth area, not necessarily accompanied by pain.
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Salivary gland mass treatments

The primary approach to treating salivary gland masses is surgical intervention. At Louisiana ENT, we perform meticulous salivary gland surgery that may involve either the total or partial excision of the affected glands, as well as the mass itself. 

Our goal with surgery is to alleviate the discomfort and potential complications associated with these masses, aiming for complete removal. During the procedure, we excise not only the mass but also a margin of surrounding tissue to ensure thorough treatment, followed by careful closure of the incision to promote optimal healing and minimal scarring.

What is the procedure?

The procedure for removing a salivary gland mass typically involves a careful surgical approach tailored to the location and size of the mass. At Louisiana ENT, our skilled surgeons prioritize safety and efficacy throughout the process. Initially, you’ll receive anesthesia to ensure comfort during the surgery. Our surgeon then makes a precise incision, planned to minimize visible scarring, granting access to the affected gland. The mass, along with any necessary surrounding tissue, is meticulously removed to minimize the risk of recurrence. 

Throughout the procedure, we take special care to preserve facial nerves, which are often in close proximity to salivary glands, to maintain facial movement and sensation. After the removal, the incision is closed with sutures that are either absorbable or removed post-operatively, based on the incision location and the surgeon’s discretion. The procedure’s duration varies, typically a few hours, and may require a brief hospital stay for monitoring. Our comprehensive approach is designed to ensure the best possible outcomes and a swift return to daily activities.

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Why choose us?

At Louisiana ENT Specialists, we embody a heritage of compassionate, professional care for Louisiana’s families, delivering a legacy of medical excellence to each generation. Our locally born-and-raised doctors are deeply rooted in the community, providing personalized, empathetic care. 

With the convenience of same-day appointments and a steadfast commitment to punctuality, we respect your time while offering comprehensive ENT solutions. Our patient-first approach, advanced training, and a vast, top-rated physician network ensure not just treatment but genuine connections. Choose us for a family-like culture where your health and comfort are our priorities.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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