Thyroid lumps (nodules) or swellings (goitre) will usually be assessed and referred either urgently or non-urgently for an ultrasound scan. This is a guide to referral times:

Same day referral

  •      Stridor (high-pitched sound when breathing)

Urgent referral (two-week rule)

  • Unexplained hoarseness of voice changes associated with a goitre
  •      Cervical lymphadenopathy (abnormally enlarged lymph nodes in head and neck) associated with a thyroid mass
  •       A rapidly enlarging, painless, thyroid mass over a period of weeks.

Non-urgent referral

  •      Nodules with abnormal thyroid function tests. You should normally be referred to an endocrinologist
  •      Sudden onset of pain in a thyroid lump (this is likely to have been caused by a bleed into a benign thyroid cyst)

See our guide to thyroid nodules and swellings