What Is a Branchial Cleft Cyst?

A branchial cleft cyst is an oval, moderately movable cystic mass that develops under the skin between the sternocleidomastoid (neck) muscle and the pharynx. It is a remnant of embryonic development. A branchial cleft sinus is a small opening along the neck muscle which may connect to the mouth. Branchial cleft cysts can become infected. Branchial cleft sinuses can continue to drain fluid on their own. Neither of these conditions will resolve spontaneously.

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How Is a Branchial Cleft Cyst Treated?

A small incision is made in the neck and the cyst is removed. Sinuses may occasionally need two incisions for complete repair. Cysts are removed to prevent infection. This is a day surgery operation and your child may return home the same day.

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Pediatric General & Thoracic Surgery
6410 Fannin Street, Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77030
(832) 325-7234

Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday-Friday except major holidays)

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