The neck and the internal structures inside the neck are important for the function of many parts of the body. While most everyone understands the connection between our neck and head, there is much more to the neck than just holding our head up and sending signals to the brain. A wide range of neck disorders can occur, and each one can affect how our bodies function and how we eat, breathe, talk, and swallow. If you experience any abnormal symptoms that originate from the neck, it is important to visit an ENT doctor immediately to have the problem diagnosed and treated.
Having a neck mass can be scary, and while you should certainly be concerned, it may be possible to treat it. An ENT doctor can diagnose most causes of neck masses, many of which go away within a few days after starting treatment. Reasons a person may develop a neck mass include:
The majority of neck masses are caused by the immune response, causing swelling of the lymph nodes that manifests itself as large lumps or masses in the neck. However, once the illness that caused the immune response is cleared up, the lymph nodes will shrink to normal size.
Salivary Gland Disorder
The salivary glands are three separate sets of glands located under and behind the jaw in the upper neck. The role of the salivary glands is to produce saliva, which helps keep the mouth moist, supports healthy teeth, and helps with digestion. Disorders of the salivary glands can cause significant oral health issues. Salivary gland disorders include:
If you notice symptoms such as decreased saliva production, it is time to immediately see an ENT doctor to correct the problem before it becomes more serious.
Inside the neck is a set of butterfly-shaped glands, the thyroid, that produce specific hormones for the body. When functioning normally, these glands moderate the body’s metabolism and help control weight loss and gain. However, there is a potential for these glands to develop nodules inside them that can affect how they function. These are a few of the causes of thyroid nodules:
Because of how important the thyroid function is to the body, if a patient is found to have thyroid nodules, they are almost immediately referred to an ENT for treatment or surgery.
The salivary glands and thyroid are important organs in the neck. Disorders with either of these can cause serious health complications.
Frequently asked questions
Have questions? We are here to help.
An ‘insurance referral’ is a referral that is obtained by your PCP, directly through your insurance provider’s dedicated referrals portal. There is usually an associated referral number that is added to the claim that is submitted to your insurance with the claim for the services we provide. If your insurance requires a referral, we do not schedule an appointment until we have received this from your PCP. The reason for this is to protect the patient from receiving a large bill for services that normally would have been covered, if a referral had been obtained.
A ‘clinical referral’ is documentation from your referring provider, explaining the reason why they are referring you to our practice, and any past treatments, diagnostic testing, or other pertinent information that will assist our MD’s in treating you optimally.
As specialists, we have certain providers that require a ‘clinical referral’, prior to scheduling, to ensure that the referral is appropriate, and that necessary testing has been performed prior to seeing our physician. This is to ensure that a visit is not ‘wasted’ if the physician is not able to help you, or if necessary testing for optimal treatment has not been ordered and performed.
Univoto’s specialists, and especially our sub-specialists, are very unique in their expertise, and this means that we are sometimes the sole resource for patients with complex head and neck disorders. This does mean that our schedules fill up quickly, and it may take up to three months to get a ‘New Patient’ appointment with one of our providers.
We can assure you that if you have an urgent need to be seen quickly, we have a process in place to get you in within 24 to 48 hours. Urgency is determined by a referral from a primary care physician, so if you feel your case is urgent, please reach out to your primary care physician as a first step.
We also are happy to offer appointments with our Physician’s Assistant, much more expediently. Please ask your patient coordinator if your diagnosis is one that our PA can treat, to decrease your wait time.
Univoto DOES offer urgent appointments. However, urgency is determined by your primary care physician. We require clinical documentation of the urgent matter. Upon receipt of this documentation, we can usually get you in within 24 to 48 hours.