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A cystic hygroma is a noncancerous (begnin) mass. It often appears as a painless soft bulge under the skin, however it can bleed or become infected, which may cause the mass to enlarge and cause pain. A viral or bacterial infection may also cause swelling. A potentially serious complication of cystic hygroma in the neck area, is airway restriction or blockage.
Last updated: 3/4/2010
- Warner BW. Pediatric surgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Foshee JC, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 18th ed. Philadelphia PA: Saunders; 2007;
- Cystic hygroma. MedlinePlus. 2009; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000148.htm. Accessed 3/4/2010.