Endoscope-assisted approach to excision of branchial cleft cysts

Stephanie E. Teng, Benjamin C. Paul, John D. Brumm, Mark Fritz, Yixin Fang, David Myssiorek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis The purpose of this study is to describe an endoscope-assisted surgical technique for the excision of branchial cleft cysts and compare it to the standard approach. Study Design Retrospective case series review. Methods Twenty-seven cases described as branchial cleft excisions performed by a single surgeon at one academic medical center were identified between 2007 and 2014. Twenty-five cases (8 endoscopic, 17 standard approach) were included in the study. Cases were excluded if final pathology was malignant. Patient charts were reviewed, and two techniques were compared through analysis of incision size, operative time, and surgical outcomes. Results This study showed that the length of incision required for the endoscopic approach (mean = 2.13 ± 0.23) was significantly less than that of the standard approach (mean = 4.10 ± 1.46, P = 0.008) despite the fact that there was no significant difference in cyst size between the two groups (P = 0.09). The other variables examined, including operative time and surgical outcomes, were not significantly different between the two groups. Conclusion This transcervical endoscope-assisted approach to branchial cleft cyst excision is a viable option for uncomplicated cases. It provides better cosmetic results than the standard approach and does not negatively affect outcomes, increase operative time, or result in recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1342
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • Branchial cleft cyst
  • endoscopy
  • minimally invasive surgery


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