This page explains what happens when you are referred to the One Stop Neck Lump Clinic as a result of your GP finding a lump that they think needs further investigation. This clinic aims to, where possible, carry out all of the investigations that are necessary to diagnose your problem.

What will happen at the clinic?

You will be seen by a senior doctor who will ask you for details of your medical history. The doctor will examine your neck and may need to examine the inside of your throat. This will be done using a small flexible camera called a nasoendoscope.

If the doctor thinks it is necessary, he will recommend that you have a biopsy (a sample of cells) taken from the lump. You will go into another room and a radiologist (X-ray doctor) will take the biopsy. An ultrasound scan may be used to give the doctor a clearer picture of the lump when taking the sample.

Gel will be placed on the skin and a probe passed over the area where the lump is, the scan will be painless.

A sample of cells will be taken from the lump, using a needle and syringe. It will feel similar to having a blood test.

After this you will be asked to sit in the waiting room for about 30 to 40 minutes while the sample is examined under a microscope by a cytopathologist. If, for any reasons, not enough cells were taken, the process may need to be repeated.

By carrying out these investigations, the doctor will be able to tell you if you need any further investigations or if you can be discharged.

If necessary, you may be asked to attend the X-ray Department for either a Computed Tomography (CT) or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or both types of scans. This may take place on the same day or you may be asked to return to hospital on another day.

Additional pages are available if you would like more information about these scans.


It may take a while to get the results of the sample of cells that were taken from the lump, so it can be a good idea to bring someone with you for company. You could also bring something to read and some change for a cup of tea/coffee or a snack.

Remember to allow time if you are parking in the ‘pay and display’ hospital car park. Also please allow enough time (about 2 hours) if you need to attend the X-ray department for scans.

When the results are ready you will see a doctor again who will explain the findings fully before discharging you or arranging further investigations. Your case may need to be discussed at a meeting, which is held on a Tuesday morning, where expert consultants, radiologists, histopathologists, cytologists and other members of the team will review your results.

If this is the case, you will be asked to attend a clinic appointment on the following Tuesday to discuss the findings.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Booking Office.

Booking Office

Tel: 0300 422 6941

Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm

Printable version of this page

One Stop Neck Lump Clinic GHPI1190 Department: Ear, Nose and Throat Review due: February 2025 PDF, 138.9 KB, 2 pages
Reference number GHPI1190_02_22
Department Ear, Nose and Throat
Review due February 2025