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Neck conditions can be complicated. In some cases, your child may need the expertise of multiple specialists to correctly diagnose and treat the condition. Children’s Mercy has all the specialists your child might need in one place. Our teams work closely together to ensure you get the very best care for your family.

Our nurses will schedule everything for you and make every effort to coordinate your visit to make it as convenient as possible for your family.

Our ENT team will work with your primary care provider to understand your child’s condition, study any imaging or lab tests you’ve already done, carefully examine your child, and recommend a plan of care that’s best for your family.

If your child needs an x-ray, ultrasound, or other imaging study, our Radiology team uses Medical Imaging guidelines to ensure the safest possible imaging experience for your child.

Conditions we treat

General neck conditions

Branchial Cleft Cysts

Branchial Cleft Cysts occur when tissue in the neck develops differently during the early weeks of pregnancy. They can occur at many sites and they have a variety of different presentations (such as a cyst, a pit on the skin, or an extra skin and cartilage tag). We have the expertise to diagnose and treat these conditions surgically.

Thyroglossal Duct Cysts

Thyroglossal Duct Cysts are collections of thyroid tissue along with other types of cells that occur along the path of thyroid tissue development in the midline of the neck. If portions of the path persist after birth, a cyst may be present anywhere from the back of the tongue to the normal position of the thyroid gland at the front of the neck. These cysts require careful surgical removal to avoid future infections or recurrence and to diagnose the specific tissue type.

Salivary Gland Diseases

The salivary glands may become a source of infection, or may enlarge due to a variety of non-infectious causes. We can help diagnose and treat such conditions.

Serious infections of the neck

Neck Abscess/Parapharyngeal Abscess

Serious neck infections in children can occur when an area of suppuration (pus) forms as the result of an overwhelming bacterial infection. Radiographic imaging (such as an x-ray, CT scan or MRI) is usually necessary to arrive at a correct diagnosis. These infections can be life-threatening. They often need surgical drainage, which we can provide.

Multi-specialty Conditions

Lymph Node Enlargement (Lymphadenopathy)

Many children have enlarged lymph nodes in their neck, for a wide variety of reasons. We work closely with other specialists, including the Hematology/Oncology/BMT and Infectious Disease teams at Children’s Mercy, to diagnose and treat these lymph node swellings.

Thyroid Conditions

The thyroid gland may contain cysts, swellings, or collections of abnormal tissue that require specialized care.  We work closely with a number of our colleagues at Children’s Mercy, including the Endocrine, General Surgery, and Hematology/Oncology/BMT teams to help arrive at an accurate diagnosis and even provide surgical care, when needed.

Cancer/Unusual Masses or Tumors

The Otolaryngology (ENT) team provides support to our Hematology/Oncology/BMT team to help care for children who may have an unusual mass or tumor. This includes help with diagnostic studies, biopsy (tissue removal), and the treatment of certain conditions that may occur during the ongoing treatment of masses and tumors.

Head and Neck Vascular Malformations

Together with the Dermatology team, we can help diagnose and treat vascular malformations—various types of growths that involve blood vessels.