I have a lump the size of the meatball on the front of my neck. If I see a doctor will they likely recommend surgery?

Sounds big. Definitely get that looked at asap! if you start having difficulty breathing, especially when on your back, go to er. As to what it is, can be goiter, cyst, lymph node or other things. Workup starts with exam, then may lead to imaging like ultrasound, ct or mri. May get biopsy and blood draws. But first step is going to doctor!
This is a problem. ...That should be seen asap and, yes, there is a good chance surgery is needed. It's a bit concerning that you haven't had an md see it already. I hope this is not b/c of insurance. If so, try a university hosp or medicaid.