Thyroglossal Duct Cyst at the Base of Tongue: The Emerging Role of Transoral Endoscopic-Assisted Surgery

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Cystic lesions involving the tongue base are rare, generally presenting in pediatric patients, and they may encompass different pathologies such as ranula, lingual ectopic thyroid, thyroglossal duct cyst (TDC), dysontogenetic cysts, benign, and malignant tumors.

This paper describes the case of a 19-year-old girl with phonation impairment and mild dysphagia due to limited tongue protrusion and movements. Radiologic examinations revealed a bulky cystic lesion at the base of tongue with displacement of extrinsic lingual muscles. A minimally invasive transoral removal of the mass was performed under the assistance of the endoscopic system. The histopathologic analysis confirmed the diagnosis of intralingual TDC. After 2 years of clinical and radiologic follow-up, no recurrence of disease was observed and the patient is completely asymptomatic.

The present experience suggests that the endoscopic-assisted transoral removal of intralingual TDC can be proposed as a safe and effective procedure, alternative to traditional transcervical surgery as well as to transoral robotic surgery, leading to very appealing cosmetic results and encouraging functional outcomes in terms of phonation and swallowing. Preoperative radiologic examinations should be performed for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate selection of patients.

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