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Management of thyroglossal tract disease after failed Sistrunk’s procedure

  • N. N. Patel (a1), B. E. J. Hartley (a2) and D. J. Howard (a3)


Sistrunk’s procedure for thyroglossal duct remnants has a very high success rate, there remains the occasional patient, however, that will have recurrent disease despite a competently performed operation. Applied anatomy and embryology proffer a solution to this problem. Extending the Sistrunk operation, with an anterior wide local excision remaining within normal tissue, enables removal of the entire thyroglossal tract remnant.

A retrospective case note review was conducted to study our experience using this extended procedure to treat patients with thyroglossal tract disease that had recurred after a previous Sistrunk’s operation.

Six patients aged from five to 33 years were included in the study. There was one recurrence and the complication rate was comparable to the standard operation.

It was concluded that a wide local excision is a valuable extension of the Sistrunk operation for the management of recurrent disease.




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