Small painful ‘apthous ulcers’ of the mouth or throat may be caused by infections or trauma. Ulcers that do not heal quickly are enlarging or persist beyond 3 weeks should be seen urgently by a doctor.
There are numerous tests that can be performed on a single blood sample to diagnose many diseases.
Despite a large number of tests being requested, usually only one sample of blood is required. A very small needle is used to draw a few mls of blood from a vein just under the skin. Usually this is taken from the arm. Anaesthetic cream can be used first if requested but is not generally required. Depending on the tests the results may take from a few hours to several days to be processed.
Ultrasound is an excellent way of investigating neck lumps and looking at the thyroid gland. The cause of the lump and the site it has arisen from can usually be identified.
The scan is similar to pregnancy scans and is entirely painless. A gel is placed onto the skin and a doctor moves the probe across the skin while looking at the images on a monitor. On occasions the doctor may decide that a fine needle aspiration is necessary to obtain more information (see below)
Sometimes it is necessary to take a tissue sample from a skin lesion or lesion in the mouth or throat.
This can often be done in clinic, but occasionally a hospital admission with general anaesthetic is required. If it is performed in clinic, local anaesthetic is first injected to numb the area. Then a sample is taken with either a small punch or forceps. There may be a small amount of bleeding which usually settles quickly. The sample has to be processed and then carefully examined by a doctor called a histologist afterwards. This means the result may take several days to come back.Book Appointment