Thyroglossal duct cyst is the most common cause of congenital neck swelling. They may be found in as many as 7% of the population. Most commonly, they present in the first decade of life. However, they are also seen in adults. Thyroglossal cysts usually present as fluctuant swellings in the midline of the neck along the line of thyroid descent.
Thyroglossal cysts are managed by surgical removal. Surgical removal of the thyroglossal cyst is indicated because the cysts are prone to infection, and for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons. In rare instances, thyroglossal cysts may be malignant. This is thought to occur in less than 1% of all cases, and the underlying malignancy is usually papillary thyroid cancer.
Symptoms from a thyroglossal duct cyst
* A thyroglossal cyst may be a painless, smooth and cystic midline neck lump
* However, they may become infected and cause pain and swelling
* Problems such as difficulty breathing and swallowing may develop