Thyroglossal Duct Cyst in Children

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About Thyroglossal Duct Cyst in children:

In the fetus, the thyroid gland forms at the bottom of the tongue. Early in fetal life it then “migrates” or moves from the bottom of the tongue downward to the base of the neck.

Sometimes as the thyroid migrates, it drags some of the lining of the pharynx. A cyst may form at the base of the thyroid along the route of migration (see illustration). A thyroglossal duct cyst is then produced. Thyroglossal image - figure 1

The main risk of a thyroglossal duct cyst is infection. Bacteria from the mouth may cause the cyst to become infected. A thyroglossal cyst usually appears between ages 2 – 10. It is found equally in both girls and boys. 

Numbers to Call:
•    Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm call the Nurse Practioners’ Line at (617) 355-7716.

•    After 5pm on weekdays and on weekends and holidays, call the hospital page operator at (617) 355-6369.  Ask to speak with the surgeon on-call.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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