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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cystic hygroma

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What are the signs and symptoms of a cystic hygroma?

A cystic hygroma is a noncancerous (begnin) mass. It often appears as a painless soft bulge under the skin, however it can bleed or become infected, which may cause the mass to enlarge and cause pain. A viral or bacterial infection may also cause swelling. A potentially serious complication of cystic hygroma in the neck area, is airway restriction or blockage.[1]
Last updated: 3/4/2010

  1. Warner BW. Pediatric surgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Foshee JC, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 18th ed. Philadelphia PA: Saunders; 2007;
  2. Cystic hygroma. MedlinePlus. 2009; Accessed 3/4/2010.