A cystic hygroma is congenital multiloculated lymphatic lesion that can arise anywhere, but is classically found in the left posterior triangle of the neck.
A common symptom is a neck mass found at birth, or discovered later in an infant after an upper respiratory tract infection.
A cystic hygroma is a birth defect. It occurs as the baby grows in the womb from pieces of material that carries fluid and white blood cells. Such material is called embryonic lymphatic tissue. After birth, a cystic hygroma usually looks like a soft bulge under the skin. The cyst can't be seen until after birth, and sometimes is not noticed until the person is older.
The outlook is good if surgery can totally remove the abnormal tissue. In cases where complete removal is not possible, the cystic hygroma commonly returns.
Treatment involves complete removal of the abnormal tissue whenever possible. However, cystic hygromas can often invade other neck structures, making this impossible. Other treatments have been attempted with only limited success. These include: * Chemotherapy medications * Injection of sclerosing medications * Radiation therapy * Steroids