A thyroglossal duct cyst is a lump which presents in the midline of the neck at about the level of the hyoid bone. They are usually completely asymptomatic and noticed by the parents when the child is looking up. They are caused by a persistence of the thyroglossal duct which travels from the base of the tongue down the midline to the thyroid gland. Surgical resection is indicated as their natural history is that they slowly increase in size, may become infected, or may even burst through the skin creating a thyroglossal duct fistula. They classically move up and down when the child pokes out their tongue, or on swallowing. Operation is via a Sistrunk’s procedure where the thyroglossal duct from the thyroid gland up to the base of the tongue including the central portion of the hyoid bone is removed.
We recommend no baths or showers for 2 days after the operation and then return to normal baths and showers. There is a clear, waterproof dressing over the neck incision. This will fall off of its own accord and does not need to be replaced. The stitches are dissolving stiches. They are under the skin and do not need to be removed. Return to all normal activities e.g swimming and sports after 10 days.