Massive Cervico-Lingual Cystic Hygroma

Odhiambo WA1, Karega A2, Kalisa L2, Dimba E1


  1. School of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi

  2. Kigali University Teaching Hospital

Correspondence to: Dr Walter Odhiambo, P.O Box 21253 00505, Nairobi. Email:


Cystic Hygroma (CH) is an aberrant proliferation of lymphatic vessels creating fluid-filled sacs that result from blockage in the abnormal lymphatic system. These benign lesions are characteristic in their capability to grow to an enormously huge size has potential pressure effects on the neighboring structures. The massive expansion can also lead to gross disfigurement of the neck and face. In this paper, we present a rare case of cervico-lingual CH in a 17-year old Rwandese boy. Though the lesion had caused massive expansion of the tongue (12cm x 10cm) and led to gross deformity of the mandible, the boy had no signs of respiratory distress. His main concerns were inability to eat solid foods and compromised speech. The management challenges and literature review on cystic hygroma of the head and neck region are discussed.

Key Words: Cystic Hygroma, Cervico-Lingual


The Annals of African Surgery is the official publication of the Surgical Society of Kenya.


All content copyright © 2021 Annals of African Surgery.

ISSN (print): 1999-9674; ISSN (online): 2523-0816

Main Office Location: Menelik Medical Centre, Menelik Road, off Ngong Road, Nairobi. First floor.

Telephone: +254715260499



The content on this site is intended for health professionals. Advertisements on this site do not constitute a guarantee or endorsement by the journal, Association, or publisher of the quality or value of such product or of the claims made for it by its manufacturer.

Click here to subscribe and get the latest from Annals of African Surgery

Click here to apply as a Journal Reviewer!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram