What do I need to know about this procedure?

The procedure is the removal of a thyroglossal cyst and part of the hyoid bone which is above the larynx, through a cut along the upper part of the neck. Sometimes a fistula develops when a thryoglossal cyst is not completely removed. It is usually infected. A procedure is done to open and remove this tract.

My anaesthetic

This procedure will require anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.

Specific risks:

  • Possible bleeding in the tissues of the neck which may result in swelling about the wound or a fluid discharge, or on rare occasions, pressure in the wind pipe which may cause breathing problems.¬†This may require emergency surgery.
  • The thyroglossal cyst of fistula may recur. This may need further surgery.
  • Rarely the thyroid gland itself is absent and the thyroglossal cyst is the only functioning thyroid tissue in the body. If this is the case, medication may be needed for rest of life.
  • In some people healing of the wound can become thickened, red and painful (a keloid scar).
  • A salivary leak through the wound. This usually settles in time