WHAT IS A SUBMANDIBULAR GLAND ULTRASOUND?
The submandibular gland, a major salivary gland, exists as a pair and is located under the floor of the mouth near the back of the throat. The submandibular gland ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the major structures within the submandibular gland. An ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of information that a diagnostic submandibular gland ultrasound can provide:
- Causes of dry mouth
- Pain or swelling of the salivary gland
- Salivary stones
- Salivary gland infection
- Autoimmune diseases
If you have any signs or symptoms of pain in the submandibular gland region, such as pain under the floor of the mouth, foul-tasting drainage in the mouth, or a dry mouth, and want to get a diagnostic submandibular gland ultrasound, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for this exam.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A SUBMANDIBULAR GLAND ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
In general, there are no special preparations required before the ultrasound but your doctor may provide you with specific instructions. Dress in clothes that allow for easy access to examine the area under the chin and neck, otherwise, a medical gown will be provided.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves. However, if you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know before the examination. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A SUBMANDIBULAR GLAND ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT?
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into if needed. You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure. When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head and gently move it along the area under the chin and/or neck with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. Once all necessary images have been captured, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment is approximately 30 minutes long.
Shortly after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.