Midline (dermoid) cysts of the floor of the mouth: report of 16 cases and review of surgical techniques

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003 Nov;112(6):1560-5. doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000086735.56187.22.


A retrospective review of 16 cases of midline (dermoid) cysts of the floor of the mouth is presented, evaluating the different surgical approaches. Sixteen cases of patients with a diagnosis of midline cyst of the floor of the mouth, treated at the Maxillofacial Surgery Department of the School of Medicine and Surgery of the "Federico II" University of Naples (Naples, Italy), were observed over a 10-year period, between 1988 and 1998; age, sex, localization, diagnostic technique, and type of treatment were evaluated. Male patients were more frequently affected, with a male-to-female ratio of 3:1 (12:4 cases). Patients ranged in age from 5 to 51 years (average age, 27.8 years). The preoperative assessment was made using ultrasonography in all cases but one, computed tomography in eight cases, and magnetic resonance imaging in three cases. Regarding surgical techniques used, a transcutaneous approach was adopted for median geniohyoid cysts, an extended median glossotomy technique was used for very large median genioglossal cysts, a median glossotomy technique was used for median genioglossal cysts, and a midline incision of the oral mucosa along the lingual frenulum was used for sublingual cysts. During the postoperative course, there were no complications except for modest edema in three cases. Follow-up ranged between 24 months and 12 years; no relapses or malignant changes were observed. In the authors' experience, the intraoral approach was also effective for the treatment of large lesions and led to very good cosmetic and functional results, whereas the extraoral incision was necessary only when the cysts were under the geniohyoid muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermoid Cyst / diagnosis
  • Dermoid Cyst / surgery*
  • Epidermal Cyst / diagnosis
  • Epidermal Cyst / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / diagnostic imaging
  • Mouth / pathology
  • Mouth Diseases / diagnosis
  • Mouth Diseases / surgery
  • Mouth Floor
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography