Sjögren’s disease

Sjögren’s disease: Labial (lip) salivary gland biopsy

This is a simple procedure performed in a clinic office to help with prognosis and diagnosis in Sjögren's disease. A trained pathologist will review the gland to see if there are signs of Sjögren's disease in inflammatory cells. The pathologist may also identify the possibility of other diseases.

Step 1

The doctor identifies a minor salivary gland located in the lower lip.

A closeup of a minor salivary gland inside a lip

Step 2

The doctor injects a drug to numb the area of the lower lip that has the most glands.

A closeup of a lip being injected with a syringe

Step 3

The doctor makes a small incision, taking care to avoid damage to small nerves and blood vessels. The gland sticks out and the doctor uses forceps to remove the gland.

A closeup of an small incision for a lip biopsy

Step 4

The doctor closes the incision with an absorbable suture.

A closeup of an small incision for a lip biopsy

Patients might experience discomfort, which usually improves after 1 to 2 days. Other complications are rare and can including bleeding, fainting, bruising, local numbness/tingling and the formation of a small nodule.

Aftercare: Patients can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) to help with discomfort and use a topical cooling like ice 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off applied to the outside of the lip.