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Have pulsating lump and swelling in the neck. Is it infection or a cyst attached to artery?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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I found a pulsating lump on the left side of my neck/throat that is located right next to or connected to my carotid artery. It is so close to the artery that it is hard to tell if the lump is actually pulsating itself. It is about 3x3cm. It has been about three weeks since I noticed it. The lump has not changed in size so far. The lump does move around and it is not hard. I also have had a hoarse throat as well. I was wondering if this could be a sign of a carotid artery aneurysm? Or maybe some kind of infection or cyst attached to the artery? No other symptoms are present as of now. What should I do?
Posted Sun, 25 Nov 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 26 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

Most common cause of the pulsating swelling in the neck is Carotid artery aneurysm. Rarely the pulsations from the carotid artery can be transmitted to a swelling adjacent to it, if it is made of soft tissue.

Infections / abscesses in the neck though may present with pulsating swelling, will also present with severe pain and other features of inflammation. I do not think it to be due to infection.

I suggest you to get an Ultrasound scan of the neck done. This will surely provide details on the swelling and its relations making possible to identify the exact pathology easily.

Hope I answered your query. Please do ask doubts, if any.

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