Sistrunk vs modified Sistrunk procedures: Does procedure type matter?

J Pediatr Surg. 2021 Dec;56(12):2381-2384. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.03.044. Epub 2021 Mar 26.


Background: Thyroglossal Duct Cyst (TDC) is the most common congenital neck mass in children and is surgically managed with a Sistrunk procedure. Some surgeons perform a modified Sistrunk (mSis), involving the dissection of the fistula beyond the hyoid bone without coring out the foramen cecum at the base of the tongue. We aim to evaluate surgical outcomes of children undergoing Sistrunk (Sis) or modified Sistrunk (mSis) procedures for TDC at an academic pediatric institution.

Materials and methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of the Children's National Medical Center database from 2004 to 2014. Basic demographic information, preoperative characteristics, postoperative complications, and recurrence were extracted for children diagnosed with TDC. We estimated descriptive statistics using Kruskal-Wallis tests and Pearson's chi-square for continuous and categorical values.

Results: 157 patients that underwent TDC excision were identified. Sistrunk (Sis) was performed in 52 cases (33%) and modified Sistrunk (mSis) performed in 105 (67%) cases. 84 (54%) were female and the mean age at surgery was 5.4 years (SD=4.5). Overall recurrence was detected in 8 cases (5.1%) and did not differ significantly by procedure type [2 (4%) in Sis and 6 (6%) in mSis, p = 0.616]. Post-operative complications did not differ significantly between Sis and mSis procedure: swelling [6 (12%) and 18 (17%), p = 0.481]; seroma [5 (10%) and 10 (10%), p = 1.00]; surgical site infection [3 (6%) and 8 (8%), p = 0.752]; or post-excision incision and drainage [3 (6%) and 9 (9%), p = 0.752] (respectively).

Conclusions: Our findings reveal no statistical difference in recurrence rates between Sis and mSis with no risk factors for recurrence identified. Furthermore, there was no difference in post-operative complications between the groups. Both surgical procedures were associated with few complications and low recurrence.

Keywords: Children; Recurrence thyroglossal duct cyst and sinus; Sistrunk procedure; Surgery; Thyroglossal duct cyst and sinus; Thyroid.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroglossal Cyst*
  • Thyroid Gland