CYSTIC hygromas of the neck continue to present a problem and a challenge to surgeons, especially from the standpoint of management. Hygromas are benign, multilocular, cystic tumors of lymphatic origin with a lining of endothelium, and although they have been recognized as a pathological entity for many years, the medical literature on this subject has been limited. It is our purpose to review briefly the background of cystic hygromas and to offer suggestions in management based on experiences with eight cases in the past four years.
There have been many theories and explanations for these growths. In 1843 Wernher1 described them as new growths and gave a good description of their clinical course. However, it was not until the monumental work of Sabin2 on the development of the lymphatic system that the real basis for cystic hygroma formation was established. According to Sabin's theory, a capillary plexus is