Head and Neck Examination

Head Examination

Procedure

  1. Inspect and examine the hair, scalp, skull, and face.
  2. Check for abnormalities in turgor and color. Check also for signs of edema & appropriate facies.
  3. Palpate lymph nodes starting from the pre-auricular nodes, all the way upwards and around the ear until the supraclavicular lymph nodes.

Normal Findings

  1. No visible lesions on the scalp, skull, and face. Hair with adequate distribution. No visible elevations or depressions.
  2. Symmetric color, no edema and good skin turgor (take note that skin turgor may also be checked in other parts of the body ie. arms and abdomen).
  3. No palpable lymph nodes.
Neck Examination

Procedure

  1. Inspect and palpate the cervical lymph nodes.
  2. Note any masses or unusual pulsations of the neck.
  3. Feel for any deviation of the trachea.
  4. Observe the patient’s breathing.

Normal Findings

  1. No visible elevations or derpessions. No palpable lymph nodes.
  2. No visible pulsations (Different from checking the internal jugular venous pressure).
  3. No deviation of the trachea.
  4. Effortless breathing (part of the general survey).
Thyroid Gland Examination

Procedure

  1. Inspect the anterior neck area and ask the patient to swallow.
  2. Ask patient to slightly flex his or her neck forward just enough to relax the SCMs.
  3. Go at the back of the patient and press finger tips of both hands on the patient’s neck, the index finger just below the cricoid cartilage.
  4. Feel for the thyroid isthmus and lateral lobes. Take note of the size, shape, and consistency of the gland.

Normal Findings

  1. No visible elevations or depressions. No visible masses or nodules (the thyroid normally moves with swallowing).
  2. Thyroid gland normally not palpable. When palpable, texture should be smooth and rubbery.