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BACKGROUND: Cystic hygroma (CH) is a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system. It most commonly presents in the neck, and aetiological factors include environmental and genetic factors. CASE REPORT: A 13-year-old female presented with spontaneous dental pain affecting the maxillary left first and second permanent molar teeth. Medical history revealed a history of left sided cervico-facial-thoracic CH. She was diagnosed with periapical peridontitis and required extraction of both teeth. Clinical management was compromised by the CH involving the left face, neck, ear, tongue, larynx, oropharynx and mediastinum and circling the trachea and great vessels. TREATMENT: Initial management included the placement of obtundant dressings for teeth number 26 and 27 with resolution of dental pain. Intensive prevention was instigated, and teeth number 16 and 17 were restored with composite resin under local analgesia (LA) without incident. Extraction of teeth number 26 and 27 was complicated by significant trismus and the unacceptably high risk associated with general anaesthesia, due to intubation difficulties. It proved impossible to achieve satisfactory local analgesia. Due to her difficult airway, it was decided to treat the patient with inhalational sedation, but administered in an operating theatre by a consultant anaesthetist, and teeth were extracted using articaine LA. FOLLOW-UP: The patient coped well with this treatment, and was discharged home on the same day. Two year follow-up with intensive prevention showed improved oral health, with no new carious lesions detected. CONCLUSION: This is the first report to our knowledge describing dental extractions in the immediate vicinity of a cystic hygroma. A potential management strategy and the difficulties of conventional methods in such patients are discussed.
Key wordsCystic hygroma extraction anaesthesia sedation
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