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What is a Thyroglossal Cyst?

Thyroglossal cyst is a fibrous cyst; it develops from a persistent Thyroglossal duct during the thyroid gland development. Thyroglossal cyst is an irregular mass or a lump in the neck which develops from remnant cells and tissues after the formation of the thyroid gland during developmental stages.

What are the Symptoms of a Thyroglossal Cyst?

The typical symptom of a thyroglossal duct cyst is the presence of a smooth lump or mass in the middle of your neck. The lump usually moves during swallowing or when you protrude your tongue.

The lump may not become visible until a few years or more after birth. In some cases, you may not notice a lump or know cyst's presence until you have an infection that causes swelling of the cyst.

Other common symptoms of a thyroglossal cyst include:

  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • An opening may be in your neck near the cyst, where mucus drains out.
  • Tenderness (pain when you touch the area of cyst)
  • Redness of the skin around the region of the cyst

Redness and tenderness may be present only when your cyst gets infected.

How is Thyroglossal Cyst Diagnosed?

In Physical examination, your doctor will palpate your neck to find out Thyroglossal cyst's presence.

A blood test is performed to test the amount of Thyroid hormones in your blood and the functioning of the Thyroid gland.

An Ultrasound produces an image of the degree of mass and its surrounding tissue.

CT scan-
CT Scan uses a beam of X-rays to create a 3-D image of the tissues in your throat.

MRI scan-
MRI Scan uses a beam of radio waves and a magnetic field to generate images of the tissues in your throat.

FNAC-Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology-
In FNAC, your doctor inserts a needle into the cyst to aspirate cells; they can examine these aspirated cells to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Thyroglossal Cyst?

MEDICATION- Antibiotics to treat an infection if present.

Your doctor will likely recommend surgery to remove the Thyroglossal cyst, especially if it's been infected or is causing difficulty in breathing or swallowing.

Sistrunk procedure-
In general, the Sistrunk procedure consists of three steps:

Step 1- Incision
Step 2-Resection of the Thyroglossal cyst and hyoid bone.
Step 3_Drainage and closure of cyst.

There are modifications of the Sistrunk procedure, including:

  • Classic Sistrunkprocedure-

The classical procedure involves-

1. Excision of the central portion of the hyoid bone along with the entire Thyroglossal cyst
2. Removal of one-eighth inch diameter of tongue muscle superior to the hyoid bone.
3. Closure of the cut ends of the dissected hyoid bone and placement of a drain to drain the cyst's contents.

Modified Sistrunk procedure:
Modified Sistrunk procedure- the procedure of choice for both primary and recurrent cases.

1. Dissection is done through the base of the tongue but not through the mucosa.

Hyoid cartilage division-
In cases with incomplete ossification of the hyoid bone, the non-fused cartilage portion can be divided by monopolar Bovie electro-cauterization or scissors.

Sistrunk surgery procedure-

  • The surgery will be performed under general anesthesia.
  • The surgeon will make an incision in front of the neck to open the skin and muscles above the cyst.
  • The surgeon will remove the cyst and surrounding tissue. (to avoid recurrence)
  • The surgeon will remove a small piece of your hyoid bone, along with any remaining tissue of the thyroglossal duct.
  • The surgeon will drain the cyst
  • The surgeon will give sutures to close the muscles and tissues around the hyoid bone and operated areas.

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  • Dr. Neetu really cares for her patients & this clearly shows. My experience with her has been very good. She is very patient, clearly explains the treatment & answers any queries regarding it. Thank you for the services.

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  • She listen to my problem very attentively and prescribed medicine to take care of my problem. Besides being a good doctor she’s a wonderful human being too.

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  • I went for throat infection and clicking sound. She was very patient to hear my issue. Then did her examination and explained me the issue. She don't writes unnecessary tests and give minimum and required medication. I wish to have...

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  • she is a friendly doctor and explained the disease very well. She had helped me out in my difficult times. Am very thankful yo her. Would like to recommend her to others.

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  • I am obliged for everything doctor has done for me from day one. I am absolutely fine three months post surgery. I had many doubts before surgery but now as I m going well , I am happy and content.


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