Excision of Neck Lumps

Neck lumps or outgrowths in the neck are formed due to various reasons. The most common reason for the formation of lumps is enlargement of the lymph nodes (glands that defend the body) which may be due to a bacterial or viral infection. Neck lumps may also be caused by cysts, swollen salivary glands and injury. These lumps can be small or large, and are mostly harmless, but may sometimes they can be a sign of a more serious disease. Neck lumps can be excised or removed surgically.


The excision of a neck lump is indicated to identify the cause of the lump formation, avoid the spreading of infection and to improve the look of the neck.


The procedure is carried out under local anesthesia (only the area of the lump will be numbed) or general anesthesia (you will be put to sleep) based on the size and location of the lump. After you are given anesthesia, you will be taken to the operation theatre. During the procedure, the skin is cut to find the lump. The lump is then separated from the normal tissue and the tissue is sealed with stitches. A plastic tube (called drain) may be inserted to drain our any excess blood and avoid clotting. This will be removed within the next 1 or 2 days. The operation will last for approximately one hour.


After the surgery, the area of incision should be kept clean. Usually dissolvable stitches are used; otherwise the stitches will be removed in the next 5 days. A scar will remain in the neck for a few days but will fade away in a few months. Normal activity can be resumed in a week’s time.


Serious complications after the excision are uncommon; however, there may be bleeding or infection at the site of infections which can be treated with antibiotics. There may also be a risk of nerve damage during the surgery.