Small parts ultrasound scan

In the medical world we bracket small organs such as thyroid, salivary glands and lumps & bumps into a group known as ‘small parts’ imaging. If you have any part of your body that doesn’t feel quite right, we can take a look with ultrasound. It is important to seek a diagnostic test when you feel a lump or have acute (fast onset of) pain. Don’t hesitate to call us if this is the case.

thyroid ultrasound scan showing nodule

Thyroid scan

Ultrasound is a diagnostic test for thyroid diseases and is becoming an extension of the physical examination. If you have a lump or swelling or an over- or under-active thyroid gland, then ultrasound can be helpful to diagnose thyroid nodules, goitre, thyroid cancer and other neck masses.


Salivary glands

The salivary glands are located on the sides of the face and below the tongue. Several important nerves and other structures run through or near salivary glands and can be affected by salivary tumors. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • A mass or lump in your face, neck, or mouth
  • Ongoing pain in one place in your face, neck, or mouth
  • A newly noticed difference between the size and/or shape of the left and right sides of your face or neck
  • Numbness in part of your face
  • New weakness of the muscles on one side of your face
  • Trouble swallowing

Ultrasound can rule out major problems and highlight the need for further investigation. There is no preparation needed for the scan.


Lumps & bumps

If you have any lump or bump that feels ‘out of place’ or a little unusual, then this scan can help to see if there is a cause for concern.

The ultrasound scan requires no specific preparation and is usually the first line method of examination for anyone with a general swelling.

The scan will evaluate the size, shape and origin of any:

  • Superficial swelling or lump
  • Palpable swelling or lump

Common problems which can show on the scan are:

  • Masses
  • Cysts
  • Haematomas
  • Swellings
  • Hernias

Common reasons for referral are:

  • Specific area swelling
  • Tender or non-tender lump
  • Trauma causing swelling