Pediatric Neck Mass Causes & Symptoms
What is a pediatric neck mass?
Neck masses are common in children and infants, and appear as a swelling or lump in the neck. These masses vary in size and shape, and may not be visible. Often, a neck mass is not found until it becomes infected, swollen, and painful. Usually, neck masses are non-cancerous, but on very rare occasions a cancerous mass is found on a child.
What are common pediatric neck mass causes?
Neck masses are often present at birth and are due to abnormal development during embryonic formation. Some types of birth-related causes, as well as other causes of pediatric neck masses include:
- Cysts (i.e., thyroglossal duct cyst)
- Tumor (usually non-cancerous)
- Inflammatory lymphadenitis
- SCM tumor of infancy
- Salivary gland infection
- Thyroid nodules (rarely)
What are typical neck mass symptoms?
Some children will not show symptoms of a neck mass until it becomes infected and swollen. However, some of the symptoms that may indicate a neck mass include the following:
- Neck pain or tenderness
- Visible lump on neck
- Recurring throat infections
- Swelling in the neck that doesn’t go away
- Neck redness
- Warmth in the neck
- Fluid or draining from the neck
When should I take my child to a doctor for a neck mass?
If your child has any of the above symptoms, it is important to consult with an ear, nose and throat specialist at New York ENT to determine if your child has a neck mass. During an exam, our physicians will conduct a physical exam, analyze your child’s symptoms and medical history, and may recommend further testing in order to accurately diagnose your child’s specific type of neck mass.
How is a pediatric neck mass treated?
Treatment depends on the type of neck mass a child is suffering from and whether an infection is present. In many cases, pediatric neck mass surgery is needed to remove the neck mass.
If you believe your child may have a neck mass, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of throat conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.