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Neck Reconstructive Surgery

How to solve the problem of a hard lump in the neck (ganglion) with head and neck surgery


The appearance of a mass or a lump in the neck is often a source of anxiety. It can have many origins, but generally it is one (or more) lymph nodes, which play a crucial role in the immune system's fight against viruses and/or bacteria.

In case of infection, the closest ganglia to the infected area swell under the influx of lymphatic cells. When the infection heals, ganglia regress within a few weeks. The purpose is to diagnose this infection.

Unfortunately, a ganglion can also be cancerous or the first stage of metastasis of a pharyngeal, salivary gland or thyroid gland cancer.

Such a ganglion can be punctured and then collected for complete analysis. If it is a metastasis of pharyngeal, salivary, or thyroid cancer, the entire ganglionic chain must be removed.


Surgery procedure

The purpose of surgery is either the exeresis of one or two ganglia for analysis, or the exeresis of all ganglia in the lymphatic drainage area of the tumour-bearing organ. The extension of the exeresis depends on the ganglion stage of invasion and may involve the muscles, the veins and some nervous elements of the neck.


Surgery includes the exeresis of the initial tumour, if it is discovered.


The exeresis of an isolated, surface ganglion can be performed under local anaesthesia, through a small incision. The exeresis of a ganglionic chain is performed under general anaesthesia, especially if it includes the exeresis of the initial tumour. The incision will be larger, uni- or bilateral.


A suction drainage will be placed in the operated area and stay in place for 24-48 hours. Your head and neck ENT surgeon will specify the duration of hospitalization and the post-surgery treatment.


Dr. Stéphane Hervé is an ENT specialist and a head and neck surgeon graduated from some of the best universities in France. He combines solid experience and training of more than 20 years, acquired in French hospitals and clinics famous for their installations and expertise in cervical surgery.

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