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Neck swelling: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Neck swelling also goes by the names of Neck Lumps, Neck Mass or Swollen Lymph Nodes.

How is the treatment done?

Neck swelling is a condition that is accompanied by the formation of a mass around the neck area. The neck mass is developed when one of these organs get inflamed: Lymph Nodes, the Thyroid Gland, the Parathyroid Glands, Laryngeal Nerves, Neck Muscle, the Wind pipe, the Voice box, salivary glands, various arteries and veins around the neck.

The most common cause of neck swelling is the inflammation of the lymph nodes which happens when the ears, sinus, or tonsils become infected. Lymph nodes can also swell up owing to dental infection and infection in the scalp. The treatment for a swollen lymph node involves the treating of the cause which could be of any type as has been mentioned.

Viruses like pharyngitis, Rubella, Herpes can make the lymph nodes swollen. Other conditions of a serious kind which can cause this ailment include HIV, autoimmune disorders and Cancer in the neck, mouth, lungs and breasts. Lymphoma and Leukemia can also cause the lymph nodes to swell up. Treatment greatly depends upon diagnosing the cause. So there is no specific treatment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The underlying cause behind a swollen neck cannot be detected without a proper diagnosis. The focal point of the disease can be found in one of the organs around the neck area or the condition could be the outcome of a different ailment altogether. Therefore, the doctor starts with checking the nose, ears, throat and the sinuses. If an obstruction is found the patient is sent to an ENT for further diagnosis. The ENT usually performs an oto-rhino-laryngoscopy to look for infection. Other imaging tests include sinus X-rays, Complete Blood Count examination, chest X-ray, ultrasound and MRI if need be.

Lymph nodes can get swollen due to disorders in the thyroid gland which can cause goiter or other such diseases. In that case thyroid treatments are recommended. Lymph nodes swelling can also be caused by bacterial infection which can be easily cured by antibiotics. If the cause is malignant then the cure will surely differ. For example lymph nodes swelling caused by cancer is treated by surgery, radiation or chemotherapy depending on the stage of the cancer. Lymph nodes inflammation which is directed to HIV follows a different treatment routine altogether. Early detection is a must when it comes to treating swollen lymph nodes. A person who is facing difficulties while swallowing or breathing due to this condition shall immediately seek medical aid.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Anybody who is suffering from a neck swelling whereby the condition is making it difficult for the person to breath, swallow or even talk should consult a doctor. A person suffering from persistent sore throat is also eligible to undergo the treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Mild swelling of lymph nodes can be caused by minor cold and flu. For that full-blown treatment is not needed. Home remedies are enough to cure this condition.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Treating lymph nodes swelling can have multiple side effects. For instance if antibiotics are used to cure the swelling, they can cause side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, indigestion, abdominal pain etc. Lymph nodes swelling that are directed to cancer or autoimmune diseases can only be cured by chemotherapy which has life-long side effects like heart, lung, gastrointestinal system and hormonal disorders. Other side-effects include loss of hearing and eye-sight, dental problems. Lymph nodes swelling can also be an outcome of HIV, the treatment of which again has long-term side effects. Lymph nodes swelling caused by disorders in the Thyroid gland is cured by anti-thyroxine medications which are accompanied by side effects such as menstrual problems, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia etc.

How long does it take to recover?

The post-treatment guidelines vary from person to person depending on the cause leading to neck swelling. For instance a person who develops a neck swell owing to common cold and flu should protect the self from cold and can perform gurgling with warm water. If the anomaly is of a severe kind like cancer, HIV or autoimmune disorders then the post-treatment guidelines should include regular check-ups, consumption of the prescribed medicines, taking care of the emotional, social and spiritual needs as these ailments are accompanied by debilitating psychological effects.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Recovery time depends upon the kind of cause that has lead to the development of swollen lymph nodes. For example if the swelling is caused by bacteria then it is cured by the intake of antibiotics; the healing period being four days to one week. However, if the cause is goiter or other disorders in the thyroid gland then it will take time. Lymph nodes swelling can also be directed to cancer, autoimmune disorders or HIV. These ailments can be managed only by long-term treatment and cannot be limited within the parameter of a specific recovery time.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The treatment of lymph nodes swelling varies from person to person depending on the kind of ailment that is causing the condition. The consultation fees could be anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 1500 which is subject to change based on the remuneration of the doctor.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The post-treatment guidelines vary from person to person depending on the cause leading to neck swelling. For instance a person who develops a neck swell owing to common cold and flu should protect the self from cold and can perform gargling with warm water. If the anomaly is of a severe kind like cancer, HIV or autoimmune disorders then the post-treatment guidelines should include regular check-ups, consumption of the prescribed medicines, taking care of the emotional, social and spiritual needs as these ailments are accompanied by debilitating psychological effects.

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