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A sialocele is a localized, subcutaneous cavity containing saliva.[1][2] It is caused by trauma (e.g. violence, accident or surgery) or infection.[1] They most commonly develop about 8–14 days after injury.[3]

They are a relatively common complication following surgery to the salivary glands,[4] commonly parotidectomy (removal of the parotid gland).[5] In this case the sialocele is the result of saliva draining out of remaining parotid tissue, and occurs about 5 to 10% of cases of superficial (partial) parotidectomy.[5][6]

It is usually not painful,[6] and a mild and self-limiting complication,[5] and is managed by repeated aspiration (draining) of the swelling via a needle after the skin has been disinfected with an antibacterial.[5][6] The fluid is usually a clear yellow, and contains amylase (in contrast to fluid from a seroma).[6] Pressure dressings do not tend to be used.[6] They are rarely chronic, however if persistent a surgical drain may be required.[6] Botulinum toxin injections have also been used to manage this condition.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Araujo, MR; Centurion, BS; Albuquerque, DF; Marchesano, LH; Damante, JH (Jul–Aug 2010). "Management of a parotid sialocele in a young patient: case report and literature review". Journal of applied oral science : revista FOB. 18 (4): 432–6. PMID 20835582.
  2. ^ Hupp JR, Ellis E, Tucker MR (2008). Contemporary oral and maxillofacial surgery (5th ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby Elsevier. p. 417. ISBN 9780323049030.
  3. ^ a b Carlson E; Ord R (16 March 2009). Textbook and Color Atlas of Salivary Gland Pathology: Diagnosis and Management. John Wiley & Sons. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-8138-0652-5.
  4. ^ Capaccio, P; Paglia, M; Minorati, D; Manzo, R; Ottaviani, F (July 2004). "Diagnosis and therapeutic management of iatrogenic parotid sialocele". Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology. 113 (7): 562–4. PMID 15274417.
  5. ^ a b c d Myers EN; Ferris RL (14 August 2007). Salivary Gland Disorders. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 244. ISBN 978-3-540-47072-4.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Eisele D; Smith RV (31 October 2008). Complications in Head and Neck Surgery. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 1-4377-1963-5.