You will be seen by a specialist consultant head and neck surgeon.
In most cases, all of the investigations that you need will be carried out at your first visit to prevent a delay in diagnosis and treatment, and to avoid inconvenience of further visits.
Often you may need an ultrasound scan of your neck, salivary or thyroid gland. This is a painless investigation and does not include any radiation (see patient information section) and can be done at the consultation.
Usually you will require blood tests which will be taken while you wait.
If you have a lump or swelling in the neck, salivary or thyroid gland, you may require a needle biopsy of this (See patient information section - fine needle aspiration). This is done using a small needle and is normally no more uncomfortable than having a blood test. Again, you will be able to have this while you wait at the clinic.
You need to advise us if you are on any blood thinners such as Warfarin (See patient information section - fine needle aspiration).
You may require an examination of the voice box and vocal cords using a special fibre optic telescope. This is done at the consultation. It is not painful and is only very slightly uncomfortable. This is normally done with no local anaesthetic but you can request to have a local anaesthetic to numb your mouth and throat. This usually wears off 30 minutes later.
Occasionally you may be required to have more specialised scans e.g. CT or MRI, or specialised blood tests, which we will endeavour to do at your first visit.
You should expect to spend between one and two hours at the clinic, to allow for your consultation and all of the necessary investigations.
In the majority of cases, we will obtain all of the information that we require to reach diagnosis during your first visit. However, if you have had specialist blood tests or a needle biopsy of your neck lump or thyroid gland, you may have to return to the clinic a week later, as these tests require some time to be analysed and reported.
We may introduce you to other members of the team if you require their specialist input.
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