Get E-Book on COVID-19

Q. My unilateral submandibular lymph node swelling does not reduce even after antibiotics. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 04, 2020

Hi doctor,

I have a unilateral submandibular lymph node swelling on the right hand side of the neck. I had an ultrasound and at this time the lymph node measure 5-6 cm and the onset were sudden with pain. After three-course of antibiotics (Augmentin two doses and Clindamycin one dose), I was referred to have another ultrasound. This was after two months of the initial appearance of the lymph node. This ultrasound scan showed the lymph node had become 3 cm but was still present. So the doctor ordered FNAC. The results of this have come back and there is no sign of metastasis or no sign of TB lymphadenopathy. The doctor has suggested yet another course of antibiotics of Doxycycline and remeasure the Lymph node after three weeks. The FNAC said it was an inflammatory lymph node. Does this mean reactive lymph node? What else could be causing this?

Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to

I want you to be completely calm because according to the course of the lymph node enlargement, symptoms, and investigations the lymph node enlargement is just an inflammatory reaction. It is not a tumor at all.

Just complete your antibiotic treatment then follow up on the lymph node again just for assurance. The lymph node may decrease in size but never comes to its normal size again. This is normal.

Now about causes, any neck, mouth, or pharyngeal inflammation can cause inflammatory enlargement of a submandibular lymph node. Even without the previously mentioned inflammations, a submandibular lymph node inflammation can start by itself as the lymph node works as a filter for the blood picking up pathogenic microorganisms.

Was this answer helpful?


Thank you doctor,

The recommendations given were potentially to remove this lymph node if is does not decrease in size or carry out excisional biopsy. Would you recommend this? Please explain what you would recommend? Also, in terms of causes what you have mentioned was it is normal for the swollen lymph node to still be there after two months? My concern is the duration.

Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome back to

I recommend excisional biopsy if it does not decrease in size. I meet cases with inflammatory lymph node enlargement which increases and decreases in size or even stable in size for (years) not for only two months.

Was this answer helpful?


Related Questions:
There is lymph node enlargement under chin and groin in a child. Is it serious?
I have a painful lump in my breast. Are my reports suggestive of a breast cancer?
I have single lymph node enlargement. Is this due to cancer?
Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat
Also Read Answers From:

Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

I have a benign multinodular goiter. Is there a need for thyroidectomy?

Query: Hi doctor, I have been recently diagnosed with multinodular goiter and have done FNAC, which turned to be benign. Is there any other way to get rid of the enlargement of the goiter and the nodules? My thyroid is full of them ranging from 0.5 to 0.9 mm. What should I do? I feel lost, and I have a con...  Read Full »

Why are there acne scars with redness on cheeks?

Query: Hello doctor, I am having pus, acne on my cheeks from a long time but I used to squeeze them off and they will not even leave a single scar, but from the past two months, I am having severe pus, acne, and even I do not touch or squeeze them. They leave a scar and the redness has increased a lot. I ...  Read Full »

I tried to pop a pimple on my thigh and it turned into a large sore. Please help.

Query: Hello doctor, I had what I thought was a pimple on my inner thigh. I tried to pop it, but it just got swollen and red. It has now been three to four days and it has turned into a large open sore. It is about 3/8 inches wide and only hurts when it rubs against clothing. I am attaching a picture of ...  Read Full »

Also Read

Can naked body to body massage spread HIV?
Hello doctor, I recently had some business trip during which I had some naked body to body massage wherein massager vag...  Read more»
Are COVID-19 Patients Infectious for up to 90 Days After Recovery?
There have been reports of recovered COVID-19 patients getting reinfected and testing positive for almost 3 months. Read...  Read more»
Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which results in symptoms like severe diarrhea, stomach pain...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an ENT Otolaryngologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.