What is it?
This type of surgery may take on many forms. It may be the removal of a single lump or the removal of all of the lymph nodes from one side of the neck (called a neck dissection). It may be done for cancers in the region, or it may be done for benign lumps.
How is it done?
Neck surgery is done under general anaesthesia. Depending on the operation’s aims and the extent of surgery required, it might take 30 minutes up to 3 hours. These operations require an incision on the neck, so there will be a scar on the neck (see here for advice about scar management). It is important to be aware that several important nerves in the neck may be at risk during this type of surgery. Hence these are best performed by an experienced head and neck surgeon. The nerves that go to the shoulder, the tongue and the corner of the mouth are all close by where these operations occur. In addition, the main blood vessels to and from the brain pass through the neck and may be close to the site of your surgery.
What happens after surgery?
Neck surgery usually requires up to 1-2 nights in the hospital. You will have a drain in the neck that collects any excess fluid. Once this drain dries up, it is removed, and then you are safe for discharge from the hospital. You may also be discharged with the drain and regular dressing will then be done in the out-patient department.
Causes of neck lumps
Surgery to remove a neck lump