A branchial cleft cyst, also known as a branchial cleft anomaly, is a birth defect that appears as a lump in the neck, after tissues in the neck and collarbone area failed to develop normally. It may form as a small lump or skin tag that can drain fluid on one or both sides of the neck within the branchial cleft area.
Treatment for a branchial cleft anomaly usually involves surgical removal to reduce the risk of infection and the development of an abscess. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia in our Los Angeles area office and involves an incision placed strategically in a natural skin crease to minimize scarring. Some cases can also be treated with antibiotics, or may not require any treatment at all.
A lymphangioma, also known as a cystic hygroma, is a birth defect that develops as the baby grows in the womb and appears as a mass in the head or neck area. During fetal development, pieces of embryonic lymphatic tissue and other materials that carry fluid and white blood cells form together to create a soft mass under the skin. These masses continue to grow over time and may not be noticeable until the child is older. In some cases, they may be detected through ultrasound while the baby is still in the womb.
Whenever possible, lymphangiomas should be thoroughly removed with surgical excision to reduce the risk of complications and prevent recurrence of the mass. However, because of its sensitive location, lymphangiomas can sometimes invade other structures within the neck, making complete removal difficult. Other treatment options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy or steroids.
Thyroglossal Duct Cysts Treatment
During fetal development, the thyroid gland develops at the bottom of the tongue and then moves down towards the neck to its normal position. In some cases, the thyroid may drag some of the pharyngeal lining with it as it moves, causing a cyst to develop at the base of the thyroid. These cysts tend to appear between the ages of two and ten years old, but may present at any time during adulthood as well. This condition often appears as a mass in the middle of the neck and may move with swallowing.
Treatment for a thyroglossal duct cyst usually involves surgery to remove the cyst and reduce the risk of complications. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia in our Santa Monica office, and most children are able to return home the same day. If an infection is present, the cyst may be treated with antibiotics
A hemangioma is a type of birthmark that appears on the skin as a bright red patch because of a grouping together of blood vessels underneath the skin. These marks may be present at birth or develop within the first few weeks of life and can appear nearly anywhere on the body, although they are most common on the face, scalp or neck.
While hemangiomas may fade significantly as the child grows, some remain visible and may be of cosmetic concern because of their prominent location or disfiguring appearance. Treatment for a hemangioma may include corticosteroid medications or laser surgery, both of which can stop the growth of or remove these birthmarks.