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Pediatrics/Brancial cleft cysts


My daughter who will be one tommorow was diagnosed with a brancial cleft cysts when she was a few data old. It's just a small pit in her collarbone area. So far she hasn't had any issues with the cysts filling with fluid or becoming infected. Her doctor said that we didnt need to see an ent until she had problems. Fast forward almost a year and last night she was admitted to the hospital bc she was having difficulty breathing. The doctors thought she may have aspirated a piece of plastic that my 4 year old gave her. She underwent a ridged bronscopsy and they didnt find anything other than a lot of mucous in her airways and left lung. She has had a cold for a few days so they believe she may have aspirated some mucous which was blocking her airway when she laid flat on her back. She only had the difficulty catching her breath when she was laid flat. The pediatric surgeon noticed the Cleft cysts and he recommended she have it removed now since she is younger and scarring would be less. He also said if this reminant is left in it could become cancerous later on in life. I am kind if torn, I don't know what we should do. I don't want her to have an increase risk of cancer but I also don't want to subject her to an unnessscry surgery. What would you recommend?

Hi, Kim,

I have not heard that these become cancerous later in life.  I doubt this is the case, but to be sure, check with an ENT surgeon.  My take on this is that these can be watched and even if blocked once or twice, can be treated and still followed.  If it becomes a problem, it can be taken care of later.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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