Bronchogenic cyst care in 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 the Center for Maternal/Fetal Health  at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children are specially trained to diagnose and treat this condition. In addition, our facility is equipped to handle the unique needs of newborns with this congenital condition, and our team of specialized pediatric surgeons provide prompt surgical attention.

To find an expert maternal-fetal health physician or pediatric surgeon, contact our Center for Maternal/Fetal Health at (720) 754-7642

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 cyst also may cause recurrent infections.

Bronchogenic cysts are part of a large group of congenital conditions called foregut duplication cysts, which include neurenteric and enteric cysts. This condition is also associated with foregut malformations, which include congenital pulmonary airway malformation  (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 provided clearer images for our technicians. However, many bronchogenic cysts are discovered through an imaging procedure performed for other reasons. They also may be diagnosis 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 the baby is three to six months old 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 thoracoscopic surgery or VATS (video assisted thoracoscopic 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 expert pediatric surgeons at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, 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.