What Happens if a Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Is Left Untreated?

Thyroglossal Duct Cyst thyroglossal duct cyst is a type of cyst that are present in your throat at birth. While they are usually harmless, complications can form from their presence. This is particularly true if timely treatment is not provided. At New York ENT, our team can evaluate your symptoms and develop a treatment plan for you.

What Is a Thyroglossal Duct Cyst?

A thyroglossal duct cyst is a kind of congenital anomaly. During fetal development, a thyroglossal duct forms so that thyroid cells can travel to create your thyroid glands. Once the glands form, the thyroglossal duct usually closes off and dissolves. In some cases, the ducts fail to close and fill with mucus instead. In these scenarios, persisting ducts become thyroglossal cysts that are then present at birth. A healthcare provider can examine your throat or use ultrasound imaging to form a diagnosis.

Symptoms of Untreated Thyroglossal Duct Cysts

Thyroglossal duct cysts that are not treated can present several symptoms.

Acute and Persistent Infections

Most thyroglossal duct cysts are harmless, but if infected, they can fill with pus and become an abscess, enlarging the cyst and becoming painful. Not all thyroglossal duct cysts cause complications; some may remain asymptomatic for a long time. If untreated, the cyst may result in recurrent infections. If this occurs, you may repeatedly experience inflammation and pain.

Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Swelling

The cyst can also increase in size due to swelling. The cyst or surrounding tissues may also become painful. Large cysts can be unsightly even if there is no associated pain or discomfort. In some cases, a large cyst could even obstruct your airway or esophagus, resulting in increased difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Thyroid Gland Problems

While rare, a thyroglossal duct cyst may be indicative of thyroid gland issues. If you suspect your thyroid functioning is impaired, speaking with a healthcare professional is crucial. Thyroid abnormalities may require additional medical attention.

Development of Malignant Cysts

Thyroglossal duct cysts are typically benign but still have a small risk of becoming malignant. If your cyst is repeatedly infected, and you notice changes to the cyst lining, you should contact a medical professional immediately.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you think you have a thyroglossal duct cyst or experience any related symptoms, you should consult with our team at New York ENT. Dr. David Volpi can help you better understand your condition, evaluate your symptoms, and determine the best treatment plan possible. Schedule an appointment at our New York, NY, office today by calling 212-873-6036. We can give you a proper evaluation and offer guidance on managing thyroglossal duct cysts.

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