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Swelling behind ears - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3394 Questions
User :   Soft but very noticeable swelling on both sides of my neck. The supraclavicular region. Went to urgent care thinking it was an infection they sent me to ENT. He ordered blood work chest xray and ct scan of my neck. Everything came back normal including thyroid levels. He said it looked like it was fatty tissue and there was nothing I could do except have plastic surgery. I have shown a few co-workers and they think it looks weird because it looks like a lump on both sides but it soft. The pain on the right side of my neck radiates to my ear. I would like these removed but he did not even suggest biopsy. I have not seen my regular doctor who is a family medicine doctor. Should I still see her for a second opinion? Can she arranged to have these removed so that they are biopsied and covered under health insurance?
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Please Give me a few moments to go through the query.
User :   Hello, I am a 45 year old female
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Hi , I have gone through your query.
Doctor :   May I ask you a few questions pertaining to your problem to answer you better ?
User :   please do
Doctor :   May I know if you ever had any Jaw injury or any Accident ?
User :   Never an injury or accident
Doctor :   Have you been ruled out for TMJ by the ENT ?
User :   The ENT spent very little time questioning me about anything. In 1997 When my mother was dying of melanoma I was very stressed and grinding my teeth. Dentist thought it could be TMJ when my jaw started clicking. He filed my back teeth so my bite was more even and I have not had problems since.
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   I would always consider ruling out TMJ before putting anything else on the list of Differential Diagnosis.
Doctor :   Now second thing is do you have any oozing from your ears ?
Doctor :   Any sign of infection in your throat or teeth ?
User :   No, The ENT did look into my throat and ears and the blood work did not indicate an infection. I have regular dental checkups every 6 months. I do have asthma which just started 3 years ago. I take Symbicort once a day. The asthma doctor looked at the lumps and said the asthma medicine is not systemic.
Doctor :   Yes, He was right.
User :   The ct scan did show a black void where the swelling is on both sides but said there was no mass
Doctor :   I feel your personal family physician would be a better help, rather than the ENT.
Doctor :   Have you been tested for Mononucleosus ?
Doctor :   One common test used to diagnose mono is called the Monospot test.
User :   Not unless it was ordered in the bloodwork I have already had. I do not have any symptoms...I feel fine other than the pain in my neck.
Doctor :   Ok. To answer you query I might require more time.
Doctor :   But I sincerely feel a thorough physical examination and some more tests and a Biopsy would be more helpful.
Doctor :   It can be a simple lipoma which is benign and not malignant to anything like a mono.
Doctor :   So please go to a btter physicain who can run through some more meaning ful tests.
Doctor :   Thank you for consulting me.
Doctor :   Take acare , bye for now.
Doctor :   Hi there
Doctor :   Are you there ?
User :   Doesnt a family physician usually send you to a specialist like an Ent?
Doctor :   He sends to a specialist but in your case he can either send for a biopsy himself or refer to an Internal Medicine Specialist as you have already been seen by an ENT.
Doctor :   He sends to a specialist but in your case he can either send for a biopsy himself or refer to an Internal Medicine Specialist as you have already been seen by an ENT.
User :   Oh and I wanted to tell you that I noticed this quite suddenly, it was not gradual, I have had this for 3 weeks with the right side has gotten bigger and no change on the left side. I have also noticed they look smaller and softer in the morning and then go back to usual size when I have been up and about for an hour or so
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   I am sorry I think it got disconnected due to an Internet problem.
Doctor :   I feel it might be of either infectious or glandular or obstructive or Viral origin.
Doctor :   Have you anytime in the recent past travelled to ,,,, or ....countries ?
User :   I wish I had the money to travel, but no, I am an elementary teacher. Is this something a doctor can help me with or should I wait to see if it clears up on its own? It doesn't sound too serious?
User :   It is ugly and there are certain tops I cannot wear. I also have pressure on my neck when I lay down to sleep
Doctor :   I don't feel it might be of that very serious origin but if you have an insurance I would advise you to get a biopsy done.
Doctor :   You have to understand that Prevention is always better than cure.
Doctor :   If everything comes out negative than if you nee you can go for a cosmetic corrective surgery
User :   Thank you, I will make an appointment with my regular doctor and see what she thinks, I think a biopsy to be sure would make me feel a whole lot better. I am hoping if it is a lipoma it can just be removed to relieve the pressure in my neck
Doctor :   Yes that would be the best thing to do.
User :   I am just surprised the ent did not recommend this and I don't want to look foolish asking my regular doctor when the ent said it was fine
Doctor :   Usually these show up in middle age and nothing much to worry , And you can always ask your family doctor for a biopsy and it would be more intellectual rather than anything else to know more bout your health.
Doctor :   So please be confident and go ahead.
User :   Thank you I needed to hear that. Good bye.
Doctor :   Thanks a lot for consulting me and Sorry for the interruptions , I have a poor Internet connection.
Doctor :   Take care, and hope it all comes out negative and you get well soon.
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