A thyroglossal duct cyst is a pocket in the front part of neck that is filled with fluid. A child is born with this cyst. It is formed from leftover tissue from the development of the thyroid gland when an embryo was forming. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck. It is part of the hormone-producing glands called the endocrine system.
Although the cyst is present at birth, it is usually not found until a child is at least age 2. Often a healthcare provider finds a thyroglossal cyst when a child gets an upper respiratory infection.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. The most common include:
The symptoms of a thyroglossal duct cyst can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
A thyroglossal cyst is usually diagnosed when your child’s healthcare provider examines your child. Your child’s healthcare provider will usually recommend that your child see an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). Or the provider may refer you to another healthcare provider with experience in thyroglossal duct cysts. Your child may need tests such as:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your child’s healthcare provider will regularly check your child’s cyst. Treatment may include:
Complications of a thyroglossal duct cyst may include:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: