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Neck Conditions and Diagnoses

Neck Conditions and Diagnoses | Advanced ENT Services

Ear, nose and throat physicians at WMCHealth Physicians: Advanced ENT Services provide care for a wide range of neck-related conditions and diagnoses in both children and adults. Care for neck abscesses, swollen lymph nodes, salivary gland disorders, and many more conditions is available through providers at 11 practice locations in the Hudson Valley.


Request An Appointment or Refer a Patient | Call 914.693.7636.


We accept most insurances including Medicare and Medicaid; please be sure to ask the practice representative if we accept your insurance plan. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


Neck Conditions and Diagnoses

Providers at Advanced ENT Services provide care for a wide range of neck conditions and diagnoses.

Select a condition below for more information. (Learn more about neck-related surgeries and procedures.)

Branchial Cleft Cysts (Congenital Defect)


A branchial cleft cyst (or “remnant”) is a congenital birth defect characterized by a lump on one or both sides of a child’s neck. The cyst may be detected by a parent or during a routine physical exam. These cysts sometimes cause tenderness or swelling (especially when concurrent with an upper respiratory infection); some cysts may have fluid drainage. ENT specialists at Advanced ENT Services may surgically remove the cyst if antibiotic therapy is insufficient.


Deep Neck Abscesses


A deep neck abscess (also referred to as a “deep space neck abscess”) is an infection that occurs in between layers of deep cervical fascia. Streptococcus bacteria, the same bacteria that causes strep throat, are commonly present in these abscesses. ENT surgeons may treat these infections through incision and drainage.


Neck Masses (Including Congenital Neck Masses)


Neck masses caused by fluid-filled sacs known as cysts frequently become infected. While the infection may be treated with antibiotics and medication, the infection often runs a risk of returning. Repeat bacterial infections can develop into serious health issues, which is why, in many cases, an ENT surgeon will suggest the excision of the neck mass.


Parapharyngeal and Retropharyngeal Neck Abscesses


A parapharyngeal abscess is a type of deep neck abscess that may produce strep-like symptoms, including fever, sore throat, swelling in the neck, and painful swallowing. These abscesses may be drained via an external or intraoral approach, depending on their size and location. A retropharyngeal neck abscess begins in the lymph nodes and is typically located behind the throat; though these rare abscesses can occur in older children and adults, they most commonly present in children under the age of eight.


Salivary Gland Infections and Disorders


Salivary gland infections are fairly common. They may develop as a result of a viral infection (e.g. mumps). The parotid is the largest salivary gland in the body; in some cases, the parotid develops a tumor or suffers chronic infection because of a blocked salivary duct. In these cases, your physician may recommend a procedure known as parotidectomy, in which the salivary gland is removed. 


Swollen, Enlarged or Infected Lymph Nodes


Swollen lymph nodes in the neck may be a sign of infection (especially viral infection). In some instances, an enlarged lymph node may indicate an immune disorder, cancer, or other less common infections like tuberculosis. Symptoms may include tenderness and pain and (depending on the cause) fever, night sweats, runny nose and sore throat. Lymph node removal (lymphadenectomy) may be done if lymph nodes in the neck become swollen or enlarged.


Thyroglossal Duct Cysts


Thyroglossal duct cysts are fluid-filled pockets located just above the voice box in the front of the neck. They often occur in children and may even be present at birth. Though painless, these cysts can become infected, which is why your child’s ENT surgeon may recommend surgical removal.




Also known as wry neck, torticollis is an uncommon condition that causes the neck muscles to contract, twisting the head to one side. This condition presents shortly after birth in approximately three out of every 100 infants. Torticollis may resolve on its own or with physical therapy. In some cases, botulinum toxin may be injected to relax muscles. Surgery is very rarely required.


Tracheitis (Inflammation of the Trachea)


Tracheitis is a bacterial infection of the trachea that causes inflammation. The most common bacteria involved in tracheitis is Staphylococcus aureus. Though tracheitis can develop in both adults and children, it is most common in young children. Symptoms may include high fever, stridor, difficulty breathing, or a deep cough similar to the barking cough of croup. Endotracheal tube placement, along with antibiotics, may be necessary for treatment.


Tracheostomy Care and Follow-Up


Tracheostomy is a procedure in which an incision is made on the front of the neck to insert a tube for breathing. This procedure is often done when long-term use of a ventilator is required; emergency tracheotomy is sometimes necessary immediately after sustaining a traumatic injury in the face or neck. Tracheostomy tubes require care and follow-up, as eating, speaking and breathing processes are all affected. An ENT specialist may be a part of your tracheostomy care and follow-up team.


Tracheostomy-Related Granulation Issues


Following a tracheostomy, some patients may experience a complication involving the development of granulation tissue. Granulation tissue is connective tissue that develops as a part of the wound healing process. In some patients, however, this granulation can cause complications that require management by an ENT specialist.


Find an ENT Provider Near You in New York

To see a board-certified ENT doctor at one of our 11 practice locations in the Hudson Valley, please call 914.693.7636 to request an appointment. We accept most insurances including Medicare and Medicaid; please be sure to ask the practice representative if we accept your insurance plan. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.