Thoracic Surgery

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Diseases & Conditions

Bronchogenic Cysts

Boston Medical Center's Division of Thoracic Surgery treats a broad range of conditions, including bronchogenic cysts. We combine medical excellence, technologically advanced facilities and equipment and a patient-centered approach to provide fast, accurate diagnoses and effective treatments.

What are Bronchogenic Cysts?

Bronchogenic cysts are abnormal growths of tissue that are congenital (present from birth). They typically have thin walls and are filled with fluid or mucous. Most bronchogenic cysts are found in the mediastinum, the part of the chest cavity that separates the lungs.

The heart, aorta (the body's largest artery), esophagus, thymus (a gland), trachea, lymph nodes and nerves are contained in the mediastinum, which is bordered by the breastbone (or sternum) in front, the spine in back and the lungs on either side.

Because bronchogenic cysts can grow in different areas of the mediastinum, physicians often divide the mediastinum into three sections: anterior, or front; middle; and posterior, or back. Bronchogenic cysts can develop in any section of the mediastinum, but most develop in the middle.

Diagnostic Procedures

What are the Symptoms?

Many bronchogenic cysts produce no symptoms and are diagnosed during a test for another reason. Symptoms can develop if the cyst grows large enough to press on parts of the airway, or the esophagus, or if the cyst becomes infected. Symptoms of bronchogenic cysts include fever from infection, vague respiratory problems and trouble swallowing.

What Causes Brochogenic Cysts?

Bronchogenic cysts are congenital (present from birth), and their cause is unknown.

How are They Diagnosed?

Thoracic surgeons at BMC will work with you and your primary care physician to diagnose bronchogenic cysts. Tests your doctor might recommend to diagnose bronchogenic cysts include:

Your physician might also recommend a bronchoscopy, in which he or she passes a small, hollow tube (or bronchoscope) through your nose and throat into the main airway of the lungs after you receive a sedative. This procedure allows physicians to see any abnormalities that might be present.

How are Bronchogenic Cysts Treated?

After a careful evaluation of your condition, we will recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for you. The goal of bronchogenic cyst treatment is to remove the cyst, which is called resection. There are several types of mediastinal tumor resection for cysts, including:

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Call: 617.638.5600
Fax: 617.638.7382

Boston Medical Center
Center for Thoracic Surgery
Moakley Building
830 Harrison Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118

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Fax: 617.638.7382

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Boston, MA 02118
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Fax: 617.638.7382

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