Thyroid, Parotid & Neck Mass Surgery Specialist

Southern ENT Associates -  - Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

Southern ENT Associates

Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors located in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia and Opelousas, LA

Although a neck mass doesn’t always mean you have cancer, it’s a potential sign of cancer in your thyroid gland, parotid gland, throat, or mouth. The physicians at Southern ENT Associates are experts in diagnosing and treating head and neck cancers. They’re extensively trained in surgery, including minimally invasive procedures, to remove tumors. If you discover a neck mass, schedule an appointment using online booking, or by calling whichever one of the six South Louisiana offices that’s closest to you.

Thyroid, Parotid & Neck Mass Surgery Q & A

When Should You Seek Treatment For a Neck Mass?

The doctors at Southern ENT Associates specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancers in adults, as well as children.

If you develop a neck mass, or lump, that lasts more than two weeks, it’s essential to have it evaluated — even if it’s painless. A neck mass is often the first sign of cancer of your:

  • Thyroid gland
  • Parotid gland
  • Throat
  • Voice box
  • Mouth


In addition to a neck mass, you may have symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, changes in your voice (hoarseness), a sore throat, weight loss, or a cough.

What is the Thyroid Gland?

Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck. It produces hormones that regulate your metabolism and affect virtually every function in your body, including your heart rate, body weight, muscle strength, and nervous system.

Your doctor may recommend surgery to treat thyroid problems such as:

  • Goiter
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Recurrent thyroid cysts
  • Grave’s disease (overactive thyroid gland)
  • Thyroid nodules


How are Thyroid Nodules Evaluated?

A thyroid nodule is an overgrowth of cells that create a lump in your thyroid gland. They’re mild and often don’t cause health problems, but they may be cancerous or grow large enough to interfere with swallowing.

In some cases, thyroid nodules may secrete too much thyroid hormone, which can cause a rapid heartbeat, heat intolerance, and sudden weight loss.

Your thyroid gland receives assessment with ultrasound imaging, which shows the size and characteristics of the nodule. If your doctor sees something of concern, fine needle aspiration is done to remove tissue and determine whether the nodule is cancerous.

When a thyroid nodule is cancerous, your doctor at Southern ENT Associates may remove half of the thyroid (a lobectomy) or the whole thyroid, which is a thyroidectomy.

What are Parotid Glands?

Your parotid glands are in front of and beneath your ears, where they produce saliva that contains a digestive enzyme.

Although you have other primary salivary glands, about 85% of all salivary gland tumors appear in the parotid glands. Nearly one-fourth of parotid tumors are cancerous.

If a biopsy shows that a tumor is cancerous, your surgeon removes all or part of the gland along with lymph nodes in the area.

If you discover a neck mass or have concerns about your thyroid or parotid glands, call Southern ENT Associates or book an appointment online. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent cancer from spreading.