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Have a small lump in throat that moves. Do not have cold. Why is this happening?

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ENT Specialist
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I have a small lump in my throat that I can move. It is not tender, I do not have a head cold. What could this be?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 11 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The exact location of the lump, it's exact size and characteristics will help identify the cause. Is it in the mid line or on one side? Does it move on swallowing or protrusion of the tongue? Is it soft, firm or hard? Is the overlying skin normal or discolored? how long has it been there? Is it growing in size? Is it pulsatile? Is it possible to share a close up image here?

2. The most common cause will be an inflamed lymph node (there are about 300 lymph nodes normally present in the head and neck region). Other painless lumps include the salivary glands, thyroid nodules, laryngoceles, cysts, bursas, lipomas, and so on.

3. Get a physician's opinion. Get an Ultrasound of the Neck done by a Radiologist. The small mass can be identified and a FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) by a Pathologist will settle the diagnosis.

4. Kindly let me know the results of your tests. This will help in suggesting further treatment.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have a small lump in throat that moves. Do not have cold. Why is this happening? 6 hours later
The lump is on the right side of the neck, below the jaw bone. It is very small and not visible to the eye. You can only feel it. It is soft and when I touch it it moves. The skin is normal. It has been there for about 2 months, it is not growing in size.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 5 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. From your description, it is most likely to be a small lymph node or a salivary gland enlargement. The JD (Jugulo Digastric) lymph node which drains the tonsil area is also located below and behind the angle of the jaw bone. Some lymph nodes are also closely related to the sub-mandibular salivary glands or may be within the gland tissue.

2. Lymph nodes are normally not palpable. However, after an episode of inflammation or infection, they usually enlarge and later rarely return to their original size. Hence they become palpable.

3. A salivary gland swelling can be felt and moved (ballotable) between a finger placed in the floor of the mouth (next to the tongue) and a finger of the other hand outside on the skin of the neck. This is not the case with a lymph node and hence this clinical test helps differentiate between these swellings.

4. You may choose to ignore it if it is less than a centimeter in size. Otherwise, go ahead with the USG and FNAC for an exact diagnosis.

5. Kindly let me know the results of your tests. This will help in suggesting further treatment.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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