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Cystic hygroma is a swelling usually occurring in the lower third of the neck most commonly in the posterior triangle, but may also occur in the axilla, groin and the mediastinum. It usually manifests in the neonate or in early infancy (occasionally present at birth). The swelling is soft and partially compressible and invariably increases in size when the child coughs or cries. The characteristic feature that distinguishes it from all other neck swelling is that it is brilliantly translucent. The other causes of neck swelling which can be confused with it are like soft tissue tumours, goitre, thyroglossal duct cyst, branchial cleft cyst. It may show spontaneous regression. The definitive treatment is by excision of the cyst.
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