Central Auckland, East Auckland, North Auckland, South Auckland, West Auckland > Private Hospitals & Specialists >

Mr John Chaplin - Thyroid and Head & Neck Surgeon, Otolaryngologist

Private Service, ENT/ Head & Neck Surgery

Head and Neck Lumps or Masses

Growths, lumps, tumours or masses on the head and neck can be benign (noncancerous) or cancerous and can form in the larynx, pharynx, thyroid gland, salivary gland, mouth, neck, face or skull.

For further information on neck lumps, tumours or masses see www.thyroid.co.nz

Tests to diagnose a mass may include:

  • Neurological examination - assesses eye movements, balance, hearing, sensation, coordination etc
  • MRI - magnetic resonance imaging uses magnetic fields and radio waves to give images of internal organs and body structures
  • CT Scan - computer tomography combines x-rays with computer technology to give cross-sectional images of the body
  • Biopsy - a sample of tissue is taken for examination under a microscope.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes in the neck often become swollen when the body is fighting an infection.

Benign Lesions
Noncancerous masses such as cysts are often removed surgically to prevent them from pressing on nerves and other structures in the head and neck.

Cancerous masses spread to surrounding tissues and may be:

  • Primary - they arise in the head or neck.  Mostly caused by tobacco or alcohol use
  • Secondary - they have spread from a primary tumour in another part of the body.

Cancers may be treated by a combination of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.


Watch the Youtube video below of resection of a thyroglossal duct cyst using Sistrunks procedure. 

This narrated video demonstrates resection of a thyroglossal duct cyst using Sistrunks Procedure by Dr John Chaplin, head and neck surgeon in Auckland, New Zealand. Originally described by Charles Sistrunk, surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, the key to the procedure and prevention of recurrence of the cyst is to resect the central portion (body) of the hyoid bone and follow any tract up towards the base of the tongue, the embryological site of origin of the thyroid gland.

This page was last updated at 11:39AM on September 3, 2021.