A lean neck mass clinic model: Adding value to care

Brittny N. Tillman, Tiffany A. Glazer, Amrita Ray, J. Chad Brenner, Matthew E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis To demonstrate that ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (USFNA) with on-site cytopathologic analysis eliminates unnecessary diagnostic testing, return visits, and repeat procedures and optimizes quality of care. Study Design Retrospective cohort. Methods Sixty-one new patients (28 female; 33 male; age range-=-19-85 years) were seen in our dedicated neck mass clinic over a 1-year period. All patients underwent USFNA of masses located in neck levels I-VI (n-=-40), parotid gland (n-=-20), or parapharyngeal space (n-=-1). Each patient underwent two USFNA passes followed by on-site cytopathologic analysis with additional passes if required for diagnosis. Results Diagnosis was made in 93.4% (n-=-57) of patients, allowing for counseling and treatment planning at the first visit. To obtain a diagnosis, more than half (57.4%, n-=-35) of our patients required additional passes, which implies that they would have required an additional visit without on-site cytopathologic analysis. Treatment included observation in 42.6% (n-=-26) of patients, surgery in 32.8 % (n-=-20) of patients, and nonsurgical treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, other) in 24.6% (n-=-15) of patients. The average time from check-in to checkout including the clinic visit, biopsy, and treatment counseling was 103 minutes, and the average round trip mileage traveled per patient was 127.6 miles. Conclusions The adult neck mass is a commonly encountered scenario in otolaryngology. For the patient, this can be a stressful situation in which timely and accurate diagnosis is critical. A dedicated lean neck mass clinic model with USFNA and on-site cytopathologic analysis can be both an efficient part of one's practice and a valuable addition to patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2509-2513
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Neck mass
  • fine needle aspiration
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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