Salivary tumour, disorder or sialolithiasis (salivary stones)

Emergency and immediate referrals

Referral to Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region:

  • Airway compromise - Stridor/drooling breathing difficulty/acute or sudden voice change/severe odynophagia
  • Unilateral facial swelling with or without dental sepsis
  • Profound dysphagia – inability to manage secretions
  • Associated abscess within the neck or Ludwig’s angina

Immediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange an immediate ENT assessment (seen within 7 days) for:

  • Nil

To contact the relevant service, please see HealthPathways: Acute ENT Assessment

Presenting issues
  • Confirmed or suspected tumour or solid mass in the salivary gland
  • Symptomatic salivary stones with recurrent symptoms unresponsive to treatment
  • Recurring major salivary gland swelling 
Mandatory referral information (referral will be returned if this information is not included)


  • Relevant history, onset, duration, frequency and severity of symptoms
  • Details of previous treatment and outcome


  • Site of mass


  • USS +/- CT (include copy of result and test location and date)

If unable to attach reports, please include relevant information/findings in the body of the referral

Referrer to state reason if not able to include mandatory information in referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to geographical location or financial cost)

Highly desirable referral information
  • FNA results
  • M/C/S results (for sialolithiasis)
  • History of skin cancers removed (if concern with SCC or metastatic disease)
  • History of smoking (for Warthin’s tumour)
Indicative triage category
Indicative triage category
Category 1
Appointment within 30 days
  • Confirmed or suspected tumour or hard mass in the salivary glands
  • Acute salivary gland inflammation which fails to respond to oral antibiotics within 1 week
Category 2
Appointment within 90 days
  • Confirmed benign salivary gland tumour (e.g. pleomorphic adenomas)
Category 3
Appointment within 365 days
  • Symptomatic salivary stones and/or recurrent symptoms that fail to respond to non-invasive treatment
Last reviewed: 24-05-2023

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