Normal salivary gland anatomy (left) demonstrating the ducts leading to the oral cavity. The right image shows an inflamed parotid gland due to blockage of normal flow of saliva cause by a salivary stone impacted in the duct.

Dr. Ogden leads with minimally invasive treatment for salivary gland disease

 Allison Ogden, MD   

Salivary gland disorders have traditionally been treated with surgery. To relieve pain and swelling from blockages that restrict the natural flow of saliva in the mouth, salivary ducts are cut open or the entire salivary gland is removed. This type of treatment can result in long recovery times, the potential for facial paralysis, scarring and loss of taste and sensation.

Recognizing the need for better treatment for her patients, Allison Ogden, MD trained in Switzerland with Francis Marchal, MD who introduced a new noninvasive procedure that uses a small endoscope to directly enter the gland while visualizing and extracting the stones and strictures that cause blockages to the normal flow of saliva.

Called a sialendscopy, or salivary endoscopy, the procedure removes the blockage and allows the return of normal saliva production which is critical to keeping our mouth and teeth healthy while providing the fluids necessary to swallow solid foods.

Since her training in Switzerland in 2010, Dr. Ogden has become one of the busiest providers performing more than 50 sialendoscopy procedures per year and attracting patients from around the St. Louis metro area, across Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona, Colorado and Montana. She offers the outpatient procedure at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital and at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Because there remains a shortage of doctors who have experience with this technique, Dr. Ogden is involved in teaching courses throughout the U.S. and Canada, including at the AAO-HNA (American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery) and at the upcoming International Salivary Congress in October.