Thyroglossal Duct Cysts - Dubai ENT Clinic

  • Considered more to be a genetic defect than a disease, the thyroglossal duct cyst (TGDC), is a mass or lump that develops within the neck.
  • This ailment generally presents itself, when the lump is enlarged and becomes painful after a upper respiratory infection. The ailment is generally diagnosed before the age of 30 and in most cases, in pre-school age children or those going through their mid-adolescence.

Causes of TGDC

  • In most patients, thyroglossal duct cysts are manifested while the thyroid gland is formed during the embryonic development stage itself.
  • The formation of the gland commences at the base of the tongue and progresses down the neck through the thyroglossal duct canal.
  • However, sometimes the duct, which is supposed to completely disappear upon the formation of the thyroid gland, tends to leave behind cavities or pockets.
  • These remnants turn into cysts and can become filled with fluid or mucus or even become infected causing them to be enlarged.   

Symptoms Of TGDC

Although, the identification of TGDCs manifestation might vary from patient to patient, the most common symptoms generally include the following:

  • Presence of a small, soft, round mass in the centre of the front of the neck
  • Patients might experience, redness, tenderness and swelling if the mass becomes infected
  • A small opening might appear in the skin near the mass, from which mucus from the cyst might start oozing out 
  • Patients generally experience great difficulty in breathing or swallowing

Diagnosis of TGDC

  • Since the thyroglossal duct cysts might resemble other neck masses and medical problems, further investigation of the mass might be carried out through various tests to confirm the diagnosis of TGDC.
  • These might include a thorough analysis of the patient history and a careful neck and physical examination. In some cases, the doctors might even suggest a thorough examination of the thyroid gland for a confirmed diagnosis.
  • The patients might also be required to undertake a blood test and get an ultrasound done to analyse the lesion characteristics.

Treatment Options

  • Treatment of thyroglossal duct cysts depends on the desired outcome by the patients. For treatment of the current infection, the doctors might generally advice an antibiotic course.
  • However, in case the recurrence of infection is to be avoided, a surgical treatment might be the most suitable option. The procedure known as Sistrunk, will result in the removal of the central portion of the hyoid bone.
  • This reduces the recurrence of infection by at least 2-4% and the patients are known not to suffer from any negative consequences after the procedure.


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