What is cystic hygroma?
Cystic hygroma is the result of a blockage in the lymphatic system, and it manifests as a fluid-filled sac, typically around the head and neck area. Symptoms vary depending on the location and size of the sac, and nearby organs and structures may be impacted.
What are the symptoms of cystic hygroma?
Cystic hygroma symptoms differ based on the cyst’s size and location, but they may include infections, deformities in the surrounding bony structures, airway obstruction, hemorrhage, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Physically, cystic hygroma may appear as a soft lump under the skin with a bluish tint to the skin around it. If it is apparent at birth, it will grow as the child does.
What causes cystic hygroma?
In the womb, small pieces of embryonic lymphatic tissue come together to form a cyst due to lymphatic blockage. Medical professionals are unsure as to why this happens, but they suspect that it is because of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
How is cystic hygroma diagnosed?
The diagnostic process begins with a physical examination, which is often followed by ultrasounds, X-rays, and CT scans.
What are the treatments for cystic hygroma?
If possible, surgery to remove cystic hygroma is the recommended treatment option. In these cases, it is important to remove all abnormal tissue, or else the cystic hygroma will return. Other options include laser therapy, medical therapy, percutaneous drainage, sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, or a combination of some sort.