Suffering from an abnormal lump on the neck that just refuses to shrink? You may be having a Thyroglossal Cyst. Read on and know all about Thyroglossal Cyst, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
What is Thyroglossal Cyst?
Picture 1 – Thyroglossal Cyst
Source – childrensspecialists
Thyroglossal Cyst is an abnormal growth on the neck that looks like a lump. It is the most common type of Nonodontogenic Cyst i.e. it is an oral cyst developing from epithelium which is nested in bony or soft-tissue joints during embryonal development.
A Thyroglossal Cyst is also known as a Thyroglossal Duct Cyst or Thyroglossal Tract Cyst.
Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Location
A Thyroglossal Cyst can generally be found in the middle of the front area of the neck. It can be generally seen at a spot that lies at equal distance from the chin and the top of the chest.
A Thyroglossal Cyst can arise at any spot along a Thyroglossal Duct. It can also develop on the floor of the oral region or within the tongue, both of which are rare spots.
Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Symptoms
The main symptom of this condition is the development of a lump on the neck of the affected person. The lump may be large enough to be visible after birth of a child or it may become noticeable in the later stages as the baby grows up. In cases of Thyroglossal Cyst infants generally do not have a visible lump.
The lump may be small in size, about the quarter of an inch. But larger cysts may be as big as half an inch or more. Such large lumps may give rise to Thyroglossal Cyst Symptoms like breathing or swallowing difficulties. A Thyroglossal Cyst causes pain in such cases.
In serious cases, a Thyroglossal Cyst duct may be infected. An infectious Thyroglossal Cyst generally becomes red and swollen. It may become tender to touch. Infection is one of the major Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Symptoms.
An infected Thyroglossal Cyst is usually filled with pus which is released at a later stage from the vesicle. The pus drains down the throat or gets released through a rupture in the swollen skin. Infectious Thyroglossal Cysts are very painful.
Thyroglossal Cyst Complications
In complicated cases of Thyroglossal Cyst, the entire lump may give rise to cancerous symptoms. A neck cyst may be asymptomatic and harmless in children but can turn malignant at a later stage, particularly during adulthood. Thyroglossal Cyst cancer is a dreadful condition.
Thyroglossal Cyst Causes
Thyroglossal Cyst may arise as a congenital defect. It may be present during birth but not caused by hereditary factors. Rather it develops as a defect during embryonic development. A Thyroglossal Cyst usually begins to develop near the base of tongue during early fetal growth.
In normal people, a Thyroglossal Duct rolls inwards after the appearance of the thyroid. But in defective cases of fetal growth, the Thyroglossal Duct does not close properly and a part of the thyroid tissue gets trapped in the neck. This trapped thyroid tissue appears in a mass and becomes a Thyroglossal Cyst. In people with Thyroglossal Cyst congenital defect is the main causative factor.
Thyroglossal Cyst Diagnosis
An expert medical professional usually detects a Thyroglossal Cyst by carefully observing it. In some cases, a doctor may conduct a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or an Ultrasound scan to analyze the thyroid gland and make sure if the lump consists of Thyroglossal Duct Tissue.
If the doctor suspects a malignant condition, a sample of blood and tissue is tested in a clinical laboratory. Such a Thyroglossal Cyst investigation helps detect or rule out presence of serious conditions like cancer.
Thyroglossal Cyst Treatment
Treatment for Thyroglossal Cyst begins after a proper diagnosis. Some of the effective ways to treat this condition involve
Oral antibiotics are usually found to be quite effective in treating infected cysts. Topical antibiotics are found to speed up healing in cases where the skin over a Thyroglossal Cyst suffers a break or tear.
Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Surgery
In larger cysts, breathing and swallowing problems can be very discomforting. It can also result in a lot of pain and suffering. A minor Thyroglossal duct cyst operation becomes necessary in such cases. A small incision is made on the surface of the bump and the fluid and pus is drained out. In some cases, the entire mass may be excised to avoid serious complications of Thyroglossal Cyst such as cancer.
Thyroglossal Cyst Surgery Recovery
A Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Surgery is mostly successful and forms no complications in sufferers. Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Removal does not cause any long-term thyroid complexity or any recurring Thyroglossal Duct Cysts on the neck region. Operation is followed up with proper Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Management which involves keeping the area safe and clean from dirt and germs.
Thyroglossal Cyst Recurrence
Thyroglossal Cyst may recur in some cases. An infected Thyroglossal Cyst has a high chance of making a comeback. This can be avoided by removing the middle part of the hyoid bone through a type of Thyroglossal Cyst operation known as Sistrunk Procedure. This type of Thyroglossal Cyst excision also removes the cyst and its branches and tract. The Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Lining is operated on with much care. Recurrence is very rare after a proper Thyroglossal Cyst removal.
Thyroglossal Cyst Children
In case of Thyroglossal Cyst in children doctors usually go for a surgical removal of this cyst and its inherent attachment to the hyoid bone. This prevents Thyroglossal Cyst infection and recurrence when the child reaches adulthood. It also helps avoid malignancy during adulthood.
Thyroglossal Cyst Pictures
Want to know how a Thyroglossal Cyst looks like? Here are some Thyroglossal Duct Cyst pictures that you may use for reference. Check out these Thyroglossal Cyst images and get an idea about the appearance of these lumps.
Picture 2 – Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Image
Source – ksu
Picture 3 – Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Photo
Source – blogspot
If you are having a Thyroglossal Cyst on your throat or have someone suffering from it in your family, it is best to go for an early medical treatment. This will help avoid any serious discomfort or health complication in future.
Written by anirudh
on March 7th, 2011. The article was last updated on November 2nd, 2011