Excision of Neck Mass

You have been scheduled for Excisional Biopsy of a mass present in your neck. This operation will either remove the mass or a sample of lymph nodes present in your neck to determine its cause. The operation may take up to 2 hours depending on its complexity. The procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia. You will awaken in the Recovery Room and should be able to go home after 3-4 hours.


The dressing around the neck serves as a pressure dressing and may be removed 24 hours following the surgery. The incision may be exposed to the air and cleansed with water. Sometimes your doctor may place a drain in the wound and you may then have to return to the office for removal.


You may resume your normal diet as tolerated.


Strenuous activity should be avoided for 1 week after surgery.

What should I expect after surgery:

  • PAIN: Pain may be managed by using the prescription medication prescribed by your provider.
  • NAUSEA AND VOMITING: Some patients may experience nausea and/or vomiting from anesthesia during the first 24-36 hours following surgery. Contact your surgeon as directed if nausea or vomiting is experienced for more than 24 hours.
  • FEVER: Patient may run a low-grade fever (99-101 degrees) for several days following surgery.  If the temperature is higher than 102 degrees please notify the office.
  • INFECTION: Infection is not common, but does occur. Symptoms such as fever, chills, redness, or discharge around the wound, or progressive pain occurring 3 to 4 days after surgery are suggestive of infection.
  • BLEEDING: Normally blood loss from this operation is minimal. However, with the large vessels present in the neck, the potential of major blood loss is possible. It would be extremely rare to require a blood transfusion.
  • NERVE INJURY: There are many nerves in the neck region that provide sensation, and it is not uncommon to have some numbness following surgery. The majority of this usually resolves during the next year. If one of these nerves is injured there could be prolonged or permanent weakness of the muscles in the neck or facial region.

Possible complications:

There is a risk of complications as with any surgery. The majority of operations are uneventful. Please notify us with any post-operative questions or concerns you may have at 607-753-6560.

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