Salography is an X-ray examination using contrast (X-ray dye) of the Salivary Glands. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes it is performed by a Radiologist (doctor specialising in medical diagnosis using X-rays) and a Medical Radiation Technologist (expert in the use of x-ray equipment). These glands release saliva into the mouth through the salivary ducts, the flow of saliva to the mouth is important for general oral hygiene and digestion. The salivary gland and ducts not visible on ordinary X-rays so a contrast medium helps outline the duct and the gland on real time imaging known as fluoroscopy.
There are 3 pairs of salivary glands located on each side of your face.
You may be referred for this test if you have
Prior to this procedure you may continue to take prescribed medications and eat and drink normally.
If you have dentures you may be asked to remove them prior to the exam.
You will also be asked if you have a contrast or iodine allergy and if there is a chance you maybe or are pregnant
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done
X-rays will be taken of the salivary gland area before the test begins
You will lie on the X-ray table on your back with a spotlight directed towards your mouth
Holding your mouth wide open the radiologist will insert a catheter (small flexible tube) into the opening of the salivary duct
The X-ray dye will then be injected into the duct, this may cause minimal discomfort but it does not last long.
As the dye is injected you may be asked to turn your head in different directions so the salivary gland can be fully visualised. X-ray images are then taken demonstrating the gland and its duct.
Once all the images have been acquired you may be asked to suck on a piece of lemon which will help produce saliva and empty the gland of the dye and further images will be taken.
The x-ray images can usually be reviewed as soon as the procedure is done and the radiologist may be able to tell you the result immediately, but in some cases he/she may need to study the images
A report will then be sent to your referrer.
Complications from a Sialogram are rare. Possible risks include:
After the procedure you are able to eat and drink normally and carry on with day to day activities.
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