HEAD & NECK SURGERY
Neck Lumps

Neck lumps are fairly common and may occur at any age, but finding one may cause you quite a bit of anxiety.

Our Neck Lump Clinic offers a one-stop consultation where you can have all the tests you need to find out what is causing your neck lump, and what to do about it. We will take your history and carry out a physical examination, after which a specialized radiologist will assess your neck lump with an ultrasound. The results are given to you during the same consultation. We will discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, further investigations need to be arranged which may take place on a different day.

During your consultation for a neck lump, examination may include one or more of the following:

 

Palpation of (feeling) the neck- this is the most important part of your examination. We will feel your neck and assess your neck lump for size, aspect, consistency and location, amongst others. We will feel the rest of your neck to assess for any other swellings, and evaluate your  lymph nodes, salivary glands and thyroid.

Intraoral inspection-this is an examination to assess your mouth, back of the mouth and tongue. Sometimes we will examine your tongue with a gloved finger to assess for any lumps, to feel the aspect base of your tongue and evaluate your tonsils. Each of these organs may be related to your neck lump. This examination is not always necessary when visiting our clinic for a neck lump.

Flexible endoscopy-this involves inserting a small camera into your nasal cavity to inspect the back of your nose, your throat and voice box. Each of these organs may be related to your neck lump. The endoscope we use is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny, built-in camera at the tip of it. During the examination you will be asked to make certain sounds, which helps us assess your vocal cords better. Flexible endoscopy is done awake, but at your request a local anesthetic (numbing) spray can be used. This examination is not always necessary when visiting our clinic for a neck lump.

Ultrasound of the neck- a specialized radiologist will carry out an ultrasound of your neck. They will put some gel over the skin of your neck and pass a probe over the area. All structures of your neck will be visible on a monitor. You will be given the results of your ultrasound the same day. 

Fine needle aspiration-in some cases, during the ultrasound, the radiologist may insert a thin needle into your neck lump and aspirate a sample of cells out for further investigation. A pathologist (a doctor who studies bodily tissues and fluids) will study the cells under a microscope. This takes some time, and you will be given your results around two weeks after the investigation.