Approximately 25-45% of all schwannomas occur in the head and neck, and lesions originating from the recurrent laryngeal nerve are very rare. When a tumor is located in the neck, it is difficult to differentiate schwannoma from other lesions including thyroid, parathyroid, or esophageal masses; or lymphoma. We report here a case of schwannoma of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, confused with a thyroid mass, in a 67-year-old woman. Our patient complained of hoarseness after fine-needle aspiration of the mass. It was diagnosed as vocal cord palsy and she underwent surgery for mass removal. Pathological examination showed that the mass was an ancient schwannoma. The case suggests that clinicians should note that schwannoma of the recurrent laryngeal nerve may present as a thyroid mass, and hoarseness is one possible complication developing after fine-needle aspiration or surgery.