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Felt swelling behind ear. Ultrasound showed nodes on thyroid gland. Blood test normal. Taking antibiotic

Apr 2013
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3014 Questions
Hi. I was feeling small swelling on my right hand side behind my neck back of my ear. Dr said its muscle spasm then did ultra sound of my entire next and have found nodes on my thyroid gland of 0.8 to 1.8 cms. I had my blood Tests including Thyroid profile but all came within normal range. He has prescribed me antibiotics for 7 days twice a day. He told me there's nothing to worry. And if it is not satisfying me I can go for FNA test which again put me in confusion and Panic. I do not have any symptoms even Ultrasound if whole abdomen and chest xray were clear. I'm very much panicked and stressed.
Secondly the swelling is size of 2 cms and its hard. It disappears and then comes again
Please advise.
Posted Sun, 14 Apr 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 3 hours later
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX
So you are obviously describing subcutaneous swelling in retroauricular area. This is in most cases benign condition and will heal completely. Usually in this area we find swollen lymph node as a reaction to any kind of infection/especially respiratory ones. You should try to do self examination. Touch it and try to feel is it elastic and can it be moved under the skin or it is fixed. In first case it is definitely lymph node. If it is fixed to background, painful or you notice swelling around it then some other diagnosis can be considered(inflammated lipoma, atheroma, fibroma) .
In every case you have 3 choices, do FNA do find what it is, wait and see is there any progression in size or symptoms or do surgical exscision and send for an analysis.
Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help"
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Follow-up: Felt swelling behind ear. Ultrasound showed nodes on thyroid gland. Blood test normal. Taking antibiotic 6 hours later
The lump behind my ear is not painful and it shrinks if I touch my hand. The node near collarbone is not visible and caught by Ultrasound. Please check my attached reports.
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 2 hours later
I saw it. Nothing is abnormal in those report, but it cant show us much about your swellings. We are only sure that there is no inflammation or anaemia. Also important is that there is no WBC abnormality so we can exclude serious malignant conditions such as lymphomas. I am pretty sure that these are lymph nodes and most people can touch some of these in neck area. It can be enlarged with no obvious reason or as a result of infection that you didnt even notice.

If you dont have any symptoms caused by it you should observe it in next few weeks and see improvement. You can do FNA,but what then? They ll find white cells and fibrous tissue in it and nothing new wont be found. It is also apsurd to remove helathy lymph node after which you ll have bigger scar then the swelling was.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Felt swelling behind ear. Ultrasound showed nodes on thyroid gland. Blood test normal. Taking antibiotic 20 minutes later
Thank you for the relief. WBC is completely within the range. I tried to feel all over neck area under collar bone and nothing is there. Only lump I could feel is behind my right ear of a peanut size which shrinks when I touch it. However US is of that area showed nothing. Only few nodes under collar bone of very small sizes around 1 to 2 cms. But I can't feel it.
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 25 minutes later
Ultrasound cant visualize good enough such small is useless and it is allso operator dependent procedure.sometimes they see too much and sometimes nothing. This is probably retroauricular lymph node and ultrasound cant confirm it, only biopsy can but it isnt necessary at all. it should disappear when your immune system recovers.
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