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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Oct;72(10):1503-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Aug 9.

Removal of pediatric branchial cleft cyst using a retroauricular hairline incision (RAHI) approach.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 388-1 Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Republic of Korea.



Branchial cleft cyst (BCC) is treated surgically using a transcervical approach, leaving potential cervical scars. This prospective study assessed the outcomes of retroauricular hairline incision (RAHI) approach for BCC excision in children.


Twelve patients with second BCC (age < 18 years) underwent cyst excision via the RAHI approach, with incision along the postauricular sulcus and hairline. The operation time, complications, and subjective satisfaction with incision scars were assessed.


Mean operation time was 45 +/- 12 min. There were no significant complications, except for temporary hypoesthesia of the earlobe. Hypertrophic scars at incision sites occurred in two patients, but these scars are usually hidden by the natural hair and auricle. Mean subjective satisfaction score regarding incision scars was 8.7 +/- 0.9 out of 10.


The RAHI approach may provide good aesthetic results without significant surgical morbidities. This may be an alternative option for the surgical excision of BCC for children and their parents who desire invisible external scars after surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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