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Thyroglossal duct cysts: Treatment , symptoms, advice and help

About thyroglossal duct cysts

Thyroglossal cyst is a fibrous cyst that forms from a persistent thyroglossal duct.

Thyroglossal duct cysts: Incidence , age and sex

It is the most common congenital neck mass. It has a7% population prevalence. The vast majority of patients are less than 10 years old but may also present in adults, even as late as the sixth or seventh decade of life. There is an equal gender distribution and they are usually asymptomatic.

Signs & symptoms of thyroglossal duct cysts

The cyst presents as a swelling or lump in the mid-line or a little to one side of the neck. Classically, the cyst moves upwards on swallowing and with tongue protrusion and it indicates attachment to the hyoid bone. Ultrasound is the gold standard for imaging of the cyst.

Causes and prevention of thyroglossal duct cysts:

The thyroglossal tract is a remnant of the thyroid development. During its descent, in fact, the thyroid gland connects to the base of the tongue through this duct, which later involutes and disappears. Sometimes it may persist and undergo dilatation responsible for thyroglossal duct cyst formation. The presence of ectopic thyroid tissue in a thyroglossal duct cyst varies from 1.5% to 45% of cases.

Thyroglossal duct cysts: Complications

Thyroglossal cysts may become infected and rupture on to the skin of the neck presenting as a discharging sinus. There may be difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, and/or discomfort in the upper abdomen, especially if the lump becomes large. Occasionally it may be a site for malignancy.

Thyroglossal duct cysts: Treatment

Treatment is surgical excision of the cyst and must include excision of the whole thyroglossal tract, which involves removal of the body of the hyoid bone and the suprahyoid. This operation is known as Sistrunk’s operation and prevents recurrence.