Pediatric Neck Cysts and Lymph Nodes
The majority of neck masses in children are due to enlarged lymph nodes. The rest are comprised of benign, usually congenital, cystic malformations.
For the majority of children, enlarged lymph nodes are due to an infectious process (a recent flu, or otitis) and the glands gradually return to normal over a period of weeks. Enlarged lymph nodes may also be caused by thyroid disease or rarely, by lymphoma.
Other neck masses
Other types of head and neck masses include cysts of the salivary glands, thyroid gland swelling or lumps – due to thyroid disease or cancer – and masses in the muscles of the neck.
Cysts may be asymptomatic in children, but most eventually enlarge, causing complications and requiring excision. Appropriate approaches and techniques vary according to the exact type, location and size of the cysts but for most, minimally invasive techniques are an effective cure.