Biopsy Specimens

Salivary cysts are generally dissected intact from the surrounding tissues together with adjacent minor salivary glands that may have been damaged by the procedure. Cyst rupture is only problematical if the lesion is a cystic tumour. Ranulas are usually marsupialised although recurrent or "plunging" types are treated by excision in continuity with the sublingual gland.

Open biopsies of minor salivary gland tumours are uncommon because precise interpretation of limited samples of large neoplasms is difficult and most tumour types can be managed with clearance by local excision. Core needle biopsies of parotid gland or less frequently submandibular gland tumours may be necessary for deep-lobe tumours where malignancy is suspected but FNA inconclusive.

Where Sjogren's syndrome is suspected, sampling of minor salivary glands is preferable to open biopsy of the parotid or submandibular glands.

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