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Bronchogenic Cysts

Bronchogenic Cyst Treatment, Denver

Bronchogenic cysts are rare, benign growths that grow in the mediastinum—the area of the chest that separates the lungs. While many patients with bronchogenic cysts do not have symptoms, when enlarged enough, the cyst can put pressure on the surrounding area leading to life-threatening complications. The experts at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, are specially trained to diagnose and treat this condition. In addition, our facility is equipped to handle the unique needs of newborns born with this congenital condition and prompt surgical attention is possible by our team of specialized pediatric surgeons.

About Bronchogenic Cysts

Bronchogenic cysts are abnormal growths in the mediastinum (the area between the lungs). Often filled with fluid or mucous, the cysts form for unknown reasons during the first trimester of pregnancy. Many patients with bronchogenic cysts do not experience symptoms. However, when a cyst grows large enough, it can put pressure on the airway (leading to respiratory distress) or the esophagus (leading to difficulty swallowing). The cysts also may cause recurrent infections. Bronchogenic cysts are part of a larger group of congenital conditions called Foregut Duplication Cysts, which include neurenteric cysts and enteric cyts. This condition is also associated with foregut malformations, which include CPAM and Bronchopulmonary Sequestration (BPS).

Bronchogenic Cyst Diagnosis

Some babies are diagnosed with a bronchogenic cyst during a prenatal ultrasound, as this technology has advanced and become clearer. However, many bronchogenic cysts are discovered during an imaging procedure performed for other reasons. They also may be diagnosed if a baby has difficulty breathing or an older child has recurrent lung infections. If bronchogenic cysts are suspected prenatally, or if the patient is symptomatic, a chest X-ray, CT scan or MRI typically are performed to give a clear indication of the patient’s condition.

Bronchogenic Cyst Treatment

Bronchogenic cysts are treated surgically. If diagnosed as an infant with symptoms, surgery is performed shortly after birth. If the infant is not symptomatic, the surgery is often put off until three to six months of age when the lungs are more mature.  During surgery, surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to access the mediastinum and remove the growth. This type of surgery is called thorascopic surgery or VATS (video assisted thorascopic surgery). The pediatric surgeons at Rocky Mountain Pediatric Surgery are leaders in pediatric minimally invasive surgery, which reduces pain and shortens healing time.  To contact the leading edge surgeons at Rocky Mountain Pediatric Surgery, please call 303-839-6001.

Long-Term Outlook for Bronchogenic Cysts

After surgery, babies with bronchogenic cysts may require follow up care to assist with breathing or swallowing as the body heals. However, most patients who receive treatment for this condition will fully recover and go on to live happy, healthy lives.

To find an expert maternal/fetal health physician or pediatric surgeon, contact our program care coordinator at 720-754-4902.