The clinical presentation of the bronchogenic cyst is variable, from respiratory distress at birth to late appearance of symptoms. In order to determine clinical features and treatments, we retrospectively studied the medical records and pathology reports of all patients with bronchogenic cysts (n = 22) referred to our surgical department from February 1985 through January 2002. They included 18 male and 4 female patients with an age range of 1 to 38 years (average, 16.4 years). There were 14 mediastinal, 2 hilar, and 6 intrapulmonary bronchogenic cysts. Symptoms were present in 18 of the 22 patients. Cough was the most common symptom (45%). Ten patients (45%) presented with complications: severe hemoptysis, pneumothorax and pleuritis, esophageal compression, infected cyst, and postobstructive pneumonia. In all patients, complete resection of the bronchogenic cyst was performed by thoracotomy A postoperative sequela occurred in only 1 patient, who had a persistent air leak. There were no late sequelae, nor was there a recurrence of the cyst. The follow-up period ranged from 8 months to 12 years (mean, 5.2 years). Because a confident preoperative diagnosis is not always possible and because complications are common, we recommend surgical resection of all suspected bronchogenic cysts in operable candidates.