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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes swollen lymph nodes?

I had a bad car accident last week, and noticed swelling in my neck and lymph nodes. I am freaking out as I had thyroidectomy for thryoid cancer in 2004. I know I just had severe trauma, but would that cause lymph nodes to swell? Thank you so much....
Tue, 22 Jun 2021
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello,

You had a bad car accident last week, have history of thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer and presently you are experiencing swollen lymph nodes. Yes, there is possibility for car accidents to cause post-traumatic edema. A cut or trauma / injury, near the gland in the mouth, head, or neck can cause the swelling of the lymph nodes and spread of infection. Severe damage to veins and soft tissues may also cause swollen or enlarged lymph glands.

Such symptom can also be caused due to bleeding and formation of a hematoma (as you had thyroidectomy) post accident. Chyle leak can also be a possibility that may cause swelling. Sometimes, nodules can form post-operatively in the thyroid bed, if the thyroid nodules are cancerous and spreads to the lymph nodes of neck, then the lymph nodes will become swollen.

You are suggested to get clinically examined by your surgeon or an ENT/GP. Get all required blood tests, investigations and imaging tests done to stay on the safer side & treatment to get started. There is no need to panic, it can be injury affecting the lymph nodes that is causing swelling and with a course of antibiotics and rest you will be fine. But let all investigations done, don't neglect. Take analgesics to help relieve inflammation, pain and swelling. Avoid stress and take rest.

It is safe to wait for about 2 weeks to see if the swelling decreases. If the swelling does not go away, or if the lymph node is hard or larger than 1.5 cm in diameter, see a doctor. Apply a warm compress. Apply a warm, wet compress, such as a washcloth dipped in hot water and wrung out, to the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Get adequate rest.

Take care. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Nupur K., General & Family Physician
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What causes swollen lymph nodes?

Hello, You had a bad car accident last week, have history of thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer and presently you are experiencing swollen lymph nodes. Yes, there is possibility for car accidents to cause post-traumatic edema. A cut or trauma / injury, near the gland in the mouth, head, or neck can cause the swelling of the lymph nodes and spread of infection. Severe damage to veins and soft tissues may also cause swollen or enlarged lymph glands. Such symptom can also be caused due to bleeding and formation of a hematoma (as you had thyroidectomy) post accident. Chyle leak can also be a possibility that may cause swelling. Sometimes, nodules can form post-operatively in the thyroid bed, if the thyroid nodules are cancerous and spreads to the lymph nodes of neck, then the lymph nodes will become swollen. You are suggested to get clinically examined by your surgeon or an ENT/GP. Get all required blood tests, investigations and imaging tests done to stay on the safer side & treatment to get started. There is no need to panic, it can be injury affecting the lymph nodes that is causing swelling and with a course of antibiotics and rest you will be fine. But let all investigations done, don t neglect. Take analgesics to help relieve inflammation, pain and swelling. Avoid stress and take rest. It is safe to wait for about 2 weeks to see if the swelling decreases. If the swelling does not go away, or if the lymph node is hard or larger than 1.5 cm in diameter, see a doctor. Apply a warm compress. Apply a warm, wet compress, such as a washcloth dipped in hot water and wrung out, to the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Get adequate rest. Take care. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr. Nupur K., General & Family Physician