Medical Specialty >> Pediatrics

Doctors Lounge - Pediatrics Answers

Back to Pediatrics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: my son had branchial fistula

 leigh30 - Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:13 am

my son who is 18mths old was born with a rare condition called branchial fistula, hes now had the operation and seems fine but iv been looking up this condition and iv noticed that on all the sites iv seen it appears that the fistula is usually one in the lower neck on the left hand side, my son was born with two fistulas( one on the left hand side and one on the right) and it was the one on the right that was discharging puss from the age of 3 weeks old but id noticed these holes in his neck at birth that appeared to pull inward when he swallowed and queried it with the midwife who told me they were nothing to worry about, can anyone tell me why i cannot find out how my son came to be born with two? i understand the theory of how it happens to cause one but is it the same communication between either side of the neck?? has any doctor seen this before??? i no thats its rare because most of the docs i took my son to see had never seen it before, im just really curious because i cant find all the information. thank you for your time
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:47 pm

User avatar Branchial fistulas are uncommon but well known about. During development the growing baby has 4 "outpouchings" on each side of the neck. These outpouchings are the branchial arches (the inside is the branchial cleft).

During development, normally these recede and develop into other bodily structures. Occasionally the clefts may not fully close leaving a small fistula. While having one on each side is less common it occurs via the same mechanism.

Generally, the biggest risk with them is that they get infected. Once they are repaired there is almost always no further issue with them.

Best wishes. I hope this helps answer your question. If you still have questions please feel free to post a follow up.
 leigh30 - Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:22 am

thank you so much, i feel much better now

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us