Thyroglossal duct cyst
A thyroglossal cyst is an irregular neck mass or a lump that had developed from cells and tissues left over after the formation of the thyroid gland during developmental stages. As the thyroid gland descends during development a tiny thyroglossal duct forms. If the thyroglossal duct doesn't close in on itself, it can start to fill up with mucus which creates cysts anywhere along its tract. These cysts are usually midline on the neck, just above or below the hyoid bone, and can be surgically removed.
The most common location for a thyroglossal duct cyst is in the midline of the neck, just below the hyoid bone. The cyst may be small or large and can be moveable or fixed. It may be painless or tender, and in some cases, it can become infected or cause difficulty swallowing or breathing if it grows large enough to press on nearby structures. The diagnosis of a thyroglossal duct cyst is usually done with an imaging study like an ultrasound or CT scan and confirmed with fine needle aspiration. Treatment involves surgical removal of the entire thyroglossal tract, which may be accompanied by antibiotics if an infection is present.
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