Giant Pediatric Cervicofacial Lymphatic Malformations

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Lymphatic malformations (LMs) are benign lesions. Most of them are found in head and neck regions as asymptomatic mass, but giant lymphangiomas may affect breathing or swallowing and constitute a major therapeutic challenge.


A retrospective analysis of giant head and neck LMs with impairment of respiration or swallow for the past 11 years was performed in the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery and ENT of the Avicenne Medical University Center.


Seven patients with large and extensive LMs of the head and neck were identified. There were 3 males and 4 females with a mean age of 6 years. The predominant reason for referral was airway compromise necessitating tracheostomy (57%) and dysphagia (43%). Three patients had macrocystic lesions; others were considered mixed or microcystic. All the patients underwent surgical excision as a primary treatment modality. Complete surgical resection was realized in 4 patients, and subtotal resection in 3 patients. Of 7 patients, 4 patients had complications including nerve damage and recurrence of the disease. The majority of the patients underwent only a single surgical procedure.


Cervicofacial LMs in children should be managed in multidisciplinary setting. Surgery remains the first treatment for managing giant, life-threatening lesions.

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