Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Site Search

Definition:

A cystic hygroma is a sac-like structure with a thin wall that most commonly occurs in the head and neck area.



Alternative Names:

Lymphangioma



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

A cystic hygroma is a birth defect. It occurs as the baby grows in the womb from pieces of material that carries fluid and white blood cells. Such material is called embryonic lymphatic tissue. After birth, a cystic hygroma usually looks like a soft bulge under the skin. The cyst can't be seen until after birth, and sometimes is not noticed until the person is older.



Symptoms:

A common symptom is a neck mass found at birth, or discovered later in an infant after an upper respiratory tract infection.



Signs and tests: The following tests may be done:
  • Chest x-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan


Treatment:

Treatment involves complete removal of the abnormal tissue whenever possible. However, cystic hygromas can often invade other neck structures, making this impossible.

Other treatments have been attempted with only limited success. These include:

  • Chemotherapy medications
  • Injection of sclerosing medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Steroids


Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

The outlook is good if surgery can totally remove the abnormal tissue. In cases where complete removal is not possible, the cystic hygroma commonly returns.



Complications:

Complications may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Damage to structures in the neck caused by surgery
  • Infection
  • Return of the cystic hygroma


Calling your health care provider:

If you notice a lump in your neck or your child's neck, call your doctor.



Prevention:




Review Date: 9/26/2007
Reviewed By: Deirdre O’Reilly, MD, MPH, Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100