What is a visceral hump

Lump on the neck

Lumps on the neck can be painful or painless. They can be accompanied by disruptive side effects such as abnormal sensations when swallowing or they can be symptom-free and only discovered by chance.


Larger lumps on the neck are visible as swelling and can - but need not - cause abnormal sensations when swallowing, breathing difficulties and voice changes.
Inflammatory lumps on the neck are painful. The pain is often the first sign. Mostly you can feel a rough swelling. Touch can make the pain worse. Painless lumps on the neck are mostly discovered by chance, e.g. during facial care.

Causes and distribution in the population

A lump on the neck can have various reasons. The most common is an inflammatory swelling of a lymph node in infections in the neck area, e.g. tonsillitis.
Pus collections (abscesses) are less common. Benign and malignant tumors of the salivary glands, lymph nodes or thyroid are possible. Cysts, as a remnant of our development in the womb, can also appear on the neck.

Who can I turn to?

If you notice a lump on your neck, it is advisable to contact your family doctor. In particular, painless lumps on the neck that do not go away for more than 2 weeks require a specialist examination by the ear, nose and throat doctor or at the polyclinic of an ear, nose and throat clinic of a larger hospital.

Clarifications and treatment options

The ear, nose and throat specialist assesses the lump on the neck by palpation and searches for obvious causes by means of a complete examination of the throat and throat, which can be remedied, for example, with a therapy against bacteria.
An ultrasound examination is carried out especially for painless lumps on the neck. A puncture of the lump on the neck may be necessary in order to examine cells under the microscope. Treatment is then carried out with medication or surgery, depending on the cause.

Responsible at Inselspital Bern:

Ear, Nose and Throat Polyclinic, phone: 031 632 29 41