Cysts are a common cause of concern for many patients. Whether the cyst is of aesthetic concern in a visible area or whether you’re drawn to touching it frequently in less noticeable areas, elective cyst removal is a commonly performed minor procedure.
What is Cyst Removal?
Sebaceous cysts are the type most commonly treated by a plastic surgeon. They typically develop from a blocked pore or oil gland or even an ingrown hair. Once a blockage develops – containing skin cells and oil – your body forms a surrounding capsule to block it off from surrounding tissues. Even if a cyst is drained, it will recur until the capsule has been removed. Cysts that are appropriate for elective removal are firm, painless, and mobile.
How is Cyst Removal Performed?
Cyst removal is an elective surgical procedure designed to remove the hard, painless bump under the skin. It is performed under local anesthetic. An excision is performed to remove the cyst and overlying “punctum”, which is the dilated pore that is often seen overlying the cyst. The wound is then stitched together. If you have more than one cyst, they may be removed during the same procedure based on Dr. Power’s recommendations. If your cyst has become red and irritated during a period of inflammation – which most often occurs after squeezing and attempting to drain the cyst on your own – it may require surgical drainage, steroid injection, or drain on its own. After this stage, it takes many months, sometimes even longer, to refill into a firm painless bump. If interested in proceeding with elective cyst removal, it should feel like a small marble under the skin, otherwise the risk of recurrence is higher.
Cyst Removal Recovery
There is little downtime following cyst removal. You may generally return to office-based work the same or next day. It is recommended to avoid exercise and heavy lifting while the stitches are in place, generally one week following facial cyst removal and 10-14 days if performed on the body. If your cyst is located on your scalp or near your hairline, it is advised to bring an old hat to your appointment. Hair removal is not required before cyst removal on the scalp. It is difficult to place a bandage at this site, so wearing a hat to hold gauze over the incision is helpful on your way home from surgery. Dr. Power will give you detailed aftercare instructions to follow to ensure your incisions heal effectively and with low risk of scarring and recurrence.