Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which specialist should I consult to treat cystic hygroma?

You have to visit a child specialist for a diagnosis. Surgery may be done by a pediatric surgeon while sclerotherapy will be performed by an interventional radiologist.

2. Can you remove a cystic hygroma?

A small to medium sized cystic hygroma that is symptomatic is removed surgically. However, recurrences are common, especially if removal is incomplete. Larger cystic hygromas are treated with sclerotherapy to shrink their size and then removed surgically.

3. Is cystic hygroma genetic?

Cystic hygroma is not an inherited condition and therefore they are not genetic. However, some of them may be associated with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome or Turner syndrome.

4. Can fetal cystic hygroma be diagnosed during pregnancy?

Sometimes maternal ultrasound during pregnancy will demonstrate fetal abnormalities such as cystic hygroma. Further tests will have to be carried out such as amniocentesis to rule out abnormalities of the fetus.

5. What agents are used to treat cystic hygromas by sclerotherapy?

Some of the sclerotherapy agents to shrink cystic hygromas include OK-432, bleomycin, alcohol, corticosteroids, sodium tetradecyl sulfate, and doxycycline and 50% dextrose.

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