Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

COVID-19 Update:Learn more about how we are protecting our patients, families and staff, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.

Pediatric Branchial Cleft Abnormalities

Key points about a branchial cleft abnormality in children

  • A branchial cleft abnormality is a cluster of abnormally formed tissue in the neck.
  • A branchial cleft abnormality is a birth defect. It happens when the neck tissue doesn't form as it should during the early stages of an embryo’s development.
  • This condition is diagnosed by a physical exam. Diagnostic tests include ultrasound and CT scans.
  • Branchial cleft abnormalities are often small. But they can become large enough to cause trouble swallowing and breathing. Repeated infections are common.
  • Treatment may include antibiotics for infections and surgery to remove the tissue.
Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

George Zalzal

George Zalzal

Emeritus Chief, Ear, Nose, and Throat (Otolaryngology)
Nancy Bauman

Nancy Bauman

Director, Aerodigestive Clinic
Co-Director Vascular Anomaly Clinic
Otolaryngologist
Pamela Mudd

Pamela Mudd

Director, Pediatric Voice Program
Otolaryngologist
Diego Preciado

Diego Preciado

Division Chief, Ear, Nose, and Throat (Otolaryngology)
Director, Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship
Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program
Otolaryngologist
Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly

Co-Director of the Cochlear Implant Program
Otolaryngologist
Rahul Shah

Rahul Shah

Senior Vice President for the Children’s National Hospital-Based Specialties Center
Otolaryngologist
Departments

Departments

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Our team of pediatric plastic surgeons have dedicated their careers to plastic surgery procedures for babies, children and teens.

Ear, Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology)

Our pediatric otolaryngology experts diagnose and treat a wide range of pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders.