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Radiology/U/S of submandibular and sublingual salivary glands


I have an appointment with my ENT next week to assess swelling in my submandibular and sublingual salivary glands.  The practice has the capability to perform both CT and ultrasound scans.  Although I know it provided more detail, I would like to avoid the radiation of a CT scan; therefore, I would like to know if an ultrasound will be able to provide the details needed to assess my glands (i.e. stones, mass, etc.)?

Thank you.

Hello, Carey.

This is a question you need to ask your doctor. Each imaging modality has its advantages. They are not interchangable. It depends on exactly what your doctor is looking for.

Express your concerns about radiation and your desire to avoid unnecessary exposure to your physician. If (s)he determines that the benefits of CT (the ability of CT to help in diagnosing your problem) outweigh the risks of radiation exposure from the exam, I recommend you have the CT scan.

On the other hand, ultrasound may be sufficient. Your physician is in the best position to make this determination.

If you do have the CT, please ask the CT Tech to shield you. Proper shielding includes behind you as well as above you. Insist on laying on top of a lead shield in addition to having a lead apron on top of you. In CT, the X-ray beam travels 360 degrees around you. I have seen some lazy CT Techs simply drape the lead apron over the patient, leaving their entire backside exposed to scatter radiation.

Hope this helps,


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Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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