During the embryological development, thyroid gland sets out as a group of cells located in the back of the mouth at the base of the tongue. As the embryo develops these cells move down the thyroglossal duct to its final position in the neck. As the thyroid reaches its final position the duct disappears. In some cased the duct does not disappear completely. Some portions of the thyroglossal duct which remain are known as thyroglossal duct cysts.
Small oval or round lumps found in the center of the neck in the preschool days of some children are thyroglossal duct cysts. Sometimes these thyroglossal duct cysts get infected and cause redness and tenderness in the area. Very rarely these cysts create opening in the skin through which they drain on their own. These types of draining happen as a result of infection.
Existence of thyroglossal duct cysts is diagnosed by careful analysis of the health history and physical observation.
Usually thyroglossal duct cysts are removed through surgical method. But when the cyst is infected surgical procedure cannot be carried out. If cyst is infected your doctor may suggest some antibiotics with the help of which the infection can be rooted out and only after that the surgical procedure will be carried out.
The procedure known as sistrunk procedure is usually carried out under general anesthesia for the removal of thyroglossal duct cysts. The patient will be able to return home on the same day itself as it is usually done as a day procedure. In this procedure the cyst and the entire duct act are removed. If any portion is left there is possibility of recurrence. So surgeon will take special care and ensure that no trace of the cyst and thyroglossal duct is left unattended. Portions of the removed tissues will be sent for pathology to confirm the correctness of the diagnoses and post operative treatment. After the surgery your child will be brought to the recovery room and will be under intensive medical care till he remains there. When he becomes stable and is able to swallow food he will be discharged from the hospital and will be under oral medication for pain and healing of the wound.
Your follow up meeting with the surgeon will be scheduled after 2-4 weeks. Although recurring rate in sistrunk procedure is very low, special care has to be taken to avoid recurrence. You should not hesitate or cause delay in getting medical advice from the surgeon if any of the symptoms detailed below appear.
2) Drainage from the incision
3) Swelling, redness or pain in the area
4) A lump found in the middle of the neck