Management of a recurrent third branchial arch fistula using combined endoscopic and open approach


  • Meenu Krishnan Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Manipal Hospitals Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Anitha Kumari Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Manipal Hospitals Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Ramani C. V. Department of Plastic Surgery, Manipal Hospitals, Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India



Branchial arch fistula, Third arch fistula, Recurrent branchial fistula


Branchial cleft anomalies are rare, congenital lesions, that occur due to the maldevelopment of the branchial apparatus, during fetal maturation. Anomalies of the third and fourth arch contribute to a very small proportion of these. Most cases are detected in childhood, either as a cyst, sinus or fistula in the neck. Some of the common treatment approaches to third branchial cleft fistulas include endoscopic cauterization, open cervical fistulectomy and, in cases of recurrence, selective neck dissection. Here, we present a case of recurrent branchial fistula of the third arch, wherein we used a combined cervical and intraoral approach, conserving the thyroid cartilage, to achieve a complete excision of the fistula tract.


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