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School of Medicine
Head and Neck Mass
Head and neck masses in children are usually benign, although congenital cysts often require surgical removal. Fortunately malignant tumors of the head and neck are rare in children. It is important to have these masses evaluated if they persist, by experienced pediatric otolaryngologists (ENTs) who also have access to other pediatric specialists, including radiologists and vascular specialists.
Our experts evaluate and treat:
- Congenital masses of the head and neck, including:
- Branchial cleft cysts
- Thyroglossal duct cysts
- Dermoid cysts
- Duplication cysts
- Vascular lesions, including hemangiomas and lymphatic malformations
- Benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck, including:
- Lymphomas and sarcomas of the head and neck
- Salivary gland tumors and parotid masses
- Thyroid cancer and Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) Syndrome
Advanced diagnostic imaging
Our approach to treating head and neck masses in children uses clinical assessment to guide the use of advanced diagnostic imaging. When possible, we can biopsy masses with fine needles to narrow the possible diagnoses, and then decide how to move forward with either a surgical biopsy or surgical removal.
If your child needs to be sedated before these tests, our staff of pediatric anesthesiologists has the experience and gentle approach to safely manage your child’s needs.
Should we treat?
Our experts—a team of pediatric ENTs—have the skill and experience to determine which masses need a biopsy to determine if they are dangerous and which masses may need a wait-and-see approach. Further, if surgery is necessary, our pediatric ENTs are experienced head and neck surgeons who perform such complicated surgery on a routine basis.
At the forefront of a parent’s mind when they hear their child may have a mass, is the question, “is it cancer?” We understand the anxiety this entire diagnostic process will have for you as parents, for your child and for your entire family.
Fortunately it is uncommon for head and neck masses in children to be malignant. However, in the unlikely event that your child’s mass is malignant, our doctors will communicate about every decision and every test they order, so you will understand exactly the steps that are being taken to manage your child’s health. Further, if your child does need treatment, we can offer world class cancer treatment at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Request an Appointment
Please call us at 443-997-6467 (443-997-OHNS) to make an appointment at any of our three locations.