Salivary Gland Program

Head & Neck Surgery




(650) 498-6000

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There are 3 sets of major salivary glands which can cause disease that may be benign tumors, cancers or inflammatory/infectious. These glands are around important nerves that harbor functions which are essential to speaking, swallowing and facial expressions.  At Stanford our goal is to provide the most effective treatment, while preserving function and restoring cosmesis including innovative approaches.  We have a team of innovative and experienced surgeons who super-specialize in this area to provide our patients the most modern and cutting-edge techniques to improve their quality of life.

Conditions treated:

  • All parotid, submandibular and sublingual gland benign masses
  • Malignant cancers
  • Obstructions from stones or strictures


Some of our Specialized treatments include:  

  • Advanced minimally invasive parotidectomy for pleomorphic adenomas, including recurrent disease in patients who have had surgery previously.  This includes extracapsular and retrograde partial parotidectomies
  • We reconstruct all our surgical defects to restore cosmetic balance.
  • We discuss all our cancer patients including non-cancer pleomorphic adenomas at our multidisciplinary tumor board (a panel of 20 doctors to prove a consensus for surgical plan). 
  • Advanced salivary cancers are treated with surgery, radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy.  We offer the latest in facial nerve reconstruction in patients who require facial nerve sacrifice. 
  • We offer endoscopic assisted surgery and robotic surgery in the rare scenarios which prove the surgeon with an advantage to get access to the tumor. 
  • We provide sialendoscopy for patients with salivary stones and strictures from radioactive iodine. 
  • Interventional radiology sclerotherapy of benign cystic lesions of the salivary gland in select cases.  
  • Intraoperative Nerve monitoring on all relevant operations



Your Care Team

Davud Sirjani, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS)
Director of the Salivary Gland Surgery Program

Michael J. Kaplan, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS), and,  by courtesy, Neurological Surgery, Emeritus

Jennifer Christy Alyono, MD, MS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS)
Residency Program Associate Director

Jon-Paul Pepper, MD
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS)


Radiation Oncology


Clinical Team

Priyanka A. Shah, MHS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

Monika Kurzymski, RN
Nurse Coordinator

Medical Oncology

Speech Therapy



Conditions We Manage

The parotid glands are the largest salivary glands and located on either side of the cheek in front part of the ear to the mid cheek and from the cheekbone to the lower edge of the jaw.  Critical in surgery is preservation of the facial nerve that exits the skull below the ear and passes into and through the parotid gland as it divides into about five branches that go on to and innervate the muscles of facial expression (forehead wrinkle, eye closure, moving nose, and smile).  The facial nerve separates the parotid gland into deep and superficial components (sometimes referred to loosely as “lobes” though the gland is one gland and not separated into components).  The majority of pleomorphic adenomas are a single mass in the superficial part of the parotid, although a larger tumor may push nerve branches aside without invading the nerve.

The submandibular gland and Sublingual glands have similar masses. 


If you are interested in any of our current trials, please let us know or directly email the study coordinator:

  • Study of Cemiplimab in Patients With Type of Skin Cancer Stage II to IV Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of neoadjuvant cemiplimab as measured by Pathologic complete response (pCR) rate per independent central pathology review.

    The secondary objectives of the study are:

    - To evaluate the efficacy of neoadjuvant cemiplimab on measures of disease response, including:

    - Major pathologic response (mPR) rate per independent central pathology review

    - pCR rate and mPR rate per local pathology review

    - ORR prior to surgery, according to local assessment using RECIST 1.1

    - To evaluate the efficacy of neoadjuvant cemiplimab on event free survival (EFS), disease free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS)

    - To evaluate the safety profile of neoadjuvant cemiplimab

    - To assess change in surgical plan (ablative and reconstructive procedures) from the screening period to definitive surgery, both according to investigator review and independent surgical expert review

    - To assess change in post-surgical management plan (radiation, chemoradiation, or observation) from the screening period to post-surgery pathology review, both according to investigator review and independent surgical expert review

    Now accepting new patients View Details



Head & Neck Surgery