Long-term symptom control following resection of cervical lymphatic malformations: A case series

Ashoke Khanwalkar*, Taher Valika, John Maddalozzo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Previous literature has reported on the incidence of short-term complications following resection of cervical lymphatic malformations (LMs) in children, however no research has yet investigated the long-term symptomatic course in these patients. This study aims to provide families and providers with an understanding of expectations for long-term symptom control, specifically in association with subsequent upper respiratory infections (URIs). Methods: A retrospective chart review produced a case series of patients who underwent resection of cervical LM at a pediatric tertiary care center between 2007 and 2016. Demographic data, disease characteristics, operative details, and postoperative care were evaluated. Telephone surveys were conducted to ascertain the course of postoperative symptoms at the surgical site. Results: Forty-three patients responded to the telephone survey. Thirty-seven (86.0%) had at least one postoperative surgical site symptom during subsequent URIs, with 28 (65.1%) reporting redness, 34 (79.1%) reporting swelling, and 18 (41.9%) reporting pain. Patients who experienced any of these symptoms universally indicated that they developed soon after the surgical resection, and over half reported that they improved over time. Postoperative seroma was associated with swelling during subsequent URIs (p = 0.04). Patients age 7 or were greater were more likely than those under 7 to report pain with URIs (p = 0.006). All 8 patients with drain placement for at least 2 days reported swelling during subsequent URIs. The incidence of the queried symptoms did not vary significantly based on sex, stage, histology, surgical subsite, or presence of residual disease. Conclusion: While preoperative symptoms associated with cervical LMs are also frequently encountered postoperatively, particularly in some patient subgroups, improvement over time should be expected. Level of evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 19 2020


  • Longterm outcomes
  • Lymphangioma
  • Lymphatic malformation
  • Lymphovascular malformation
  • URI
  • Viral infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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