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Small bump on right ear, tender, slightly enlarged, not subsiding. Cause of concern?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2549 Questions
Hello, I have a bb size bump right in front of my right ear (preauricular node area, I think). It's been there for some time and hasn't changed at all in years (however, I thought it felt more tender and slightly enlarged for a day or so a few months back... up until then I didn't think it was a node). Had my primary feel it a few years back and she said it was just part of my anatomy. As mentioned, been there for some time and hasn't grown... is this something I should continue to ask about or because it's been the same way and is small (guessing a bit smaller then a cm) nothing to worry about. Also, can some adults feel these particulars nodes (if that is what it is)? thank you...
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 4 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. There are about three hundred lymph nodes in the head and neck region, usually not palpable until they are inflamed due to infections or swellings of the auricle (pinna) and side of the face (temporal region). They usually do not revert to their original size even after they become dormant again. Sub-centimeter nodes are considered insignificant.

2. This is most likely a pre-auricular lymph node. Other possibilities are simple cysts sometimes in the parotid salivary gland. A pre-auricular cyst will have a small opening visible on the anterior end of the helix of the auricle (pinna).

3. A photograph may help in localizing this lump. A physical examination, routine blood tests, USG Neck, FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) and regular follow up will put the diagnosis at rest.

Hope, I have answered your query. I must stress that this is a minor, common (if sometimes) troublesome problem. There is no cause for worry. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

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