Surgical management of intraoral ranulas in children: an analysis of 17 pediatric cases.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The preferred treatment of pediatric intraoral ranulas remains controversial. We present our experience with ranulas at the Gyeongsang National University Hospital and review the literature. METHODS The study involved 17 children under 15 years of age who visited our hospital from 2001 to 2008 and were diagnosed with a ranula exceeding 2 cm in diameter. The age and gender of the patients, the surgical procedures, presurgical observation period, postsurgical follow-up period, and complications of each case were determined. The unruptured specimens were all subjected to detailed pathological analysis. RESULTS The patients were on average 9.3 years and there were 10 girls and 7 boys. Spontaneous resolution was not detected in any of the cases during the presurgical observation period. Indeed, in two cases, the ranula had increased in size. The ranula and sublingual gland (SG) were resected in all cases. The average operation time was 1h. Recurrence and complications were not detected in any of the cases. Pathological analyses revealed that there was no communication of the ranula with the SG in any of the cases. CONCLUSIONS Our experiences suggest that the presurgical observation period need not be longer than 3 months and that the resection of ranulas along with the ipsilateral SG is a safe and effective primary treatment for symptomatic pediatric intraoral ranulas that exceed 2cm in diameter.

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