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Original Articles
May 1958

The Role of Palpation in Examination of the Throat

Author Affiliations

Halifax, England
Otolaryngologist to the Hospitals of Halifax and Huddersfield.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;67(5):566-568. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730010580013

In clinical surgery the necessity for a methodical examination is obvious. One conceives a greater regard for palpation when one considers that the labyrinth which contains the receptors for the auditory and static senses was primordially a tactile organ of ectodermal origin. Is feeling believing? Yes.

Having listened to the history and made an inspection, one proceeds to palpate the neck from above and behind the head, comparing one side with the other. Most information will be gained if the head is supported by a pillow or headrest so that the muscles are fully relaxed.

Thyroglossal cysts are not always exactly in the middle line of the neck. A swelling beside the foramen caecum of the tongue may comprise the only thyroid glandular substance that the patient possesses. Surgical emphysema from escape of air into the tissues from the respiratory tract or inflation of laryngoceles when the patient blows out

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