What is a Sialogram?
A sialogram is an x-ray of the salivary glands. It is done to diagnose and evaluate problems in the salivary glands, like chronic inflammation, infections, stones, and blockages. The sialogram allows your doctor to get a detailed image of the salivary glands and check for signs of conditions that can cause salivary gland problems.
Preparation for a Sialogram
It is important to follow any instructions your doctor gives you for preparing for a sialogram. Generally, you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything for several hours before the sialogram. This is to make sure that the inside of your mouth and salivary glands are empty and you get the most accurate images.
Procedure for a Sialogram
A sialogram is usually done in an outpatient radiology clinic. It is typically done after local anesthesia in order to minimize discomfort. A tiny tube called a catheter is placed in the salivary glands in the mouth, and a contrast dye is injected. The X-ray images are then taken. After the procedure, the catheter is removed and you will be given instructions for care.
Types of Sialogram
- Static sialography - This type of sialogram is used to get detailed images of a salivary gland’s structure and anatomy. It is usually used to look for stones or blockages.
- Dynamic sialography - This type of sialogram is used to measure the function of the salivary glands. It involves injecting a contrast dye to monitor how the salivary glands are producing saliva. This is used to look for areas of obstruction or inflammation.
Risks of a Sialogram
A sialogram is considered a safe procedure. Common side effects may include nausea, cramping, and swelling in the area of the salivary glands. If the contrast dye is given, some people can experience an allergic reaction. Let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a contrast dye or if you have any other allergies.
When is a Sialogram Needed?
A sialogram is usually done if you are experiencing symptoms that could be related to a salivary gland problem, such as dryness in the mouth, pain when eating or drinking, and difficulty swallowing. Your doctor may recommend a sialogram if you have had a past history of salivary gland stones or a blockage in the glands.
A sialogram is an imaging test used to diagnose and evaluate problems in the salivary glands. It is done in an outpatient setting, and is considered a safe procedure. It is important to follow any instructions your doctor gives you for preparing for a sialogram. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that could be related to a salivary gland problem, like dryness in the mouth, pain when eating or drinking, and difficulty swallowing.