Oral and Pharyngeal lesions

Emergency and immediate referrals

Referral to Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region:

  • Pharyngeal/laryngeal foreign body

Immediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange an immediate ENT assessment (seen within 7 days) for:

  • Nil

To contact relevant service, please see HealthPathways: Acute ENT Assessment

Presenting issues
  • Oropharyngeal lesions
Mandatory referral information (referral will be returned if this information is not included)


  • Site, size, location, number, appearance (e.g. ulcerated, exophytic, keratotic), pain, bleeding
  • History of tobacco +/- THC, alcohol, betel nut (high risk factors)
  • Details of previous treatment and outcome (e.g. medication and duration)


  • Biopsy results (where available and providing it will not cause significant delay)

If unable to attach reports, please include relevant information/findings in the body of the referral

Referrer to state reason if not able to include mandatory information in referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to geographical location or financial cost)

Highly desirable referral information
  • Nil
Indicative triage category
Indicative triage category
Category 1
Appointment within 30 days

Suspicious oral or pharyngeal lesion (including lip, cheek, tongue, floor of mouth, hard/soft palate, uvula, palatine tonsils) with any of the following:

  • Leukoplakia
  • Ulceration/fungation
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Discharge
  • Non-healing oropharynx ulcer for > 4 weeks
Category 2
Appointment within 90 days
  • Relapsing resolving migrating ulcers
Category 3
Appointment within 365 days
  • Oral discomfort/pain with no lesions (consider oral medicine referral)
Last reviewed: 02-10-2023