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.

Cyst Removal FAQ’s

What Types of Cysts Are There?

There are many different types of cysts that can occur all over the body. A plastic surgeon can help you remove sebaceous cysts, which are cysts that occur under the skin as a result of a blocked pore or oil gland.

Will Insurance Cover Cyst Removal?

If your cyst is inflamed, which appears as a painful red boil, drainage is generally covered by provincial insurance by your family physician, local walk-in clinic, or emergency room. A cyst that is inactive and painless is not covered by insurance unless medical concerns are identified. You will receive more information regarding your specific cyst during consultation.

What are the Risks of Popping a Cyst At Home?

Popping a cyst at home poses medical risks as well as cosmetic ones. It may prompt your cyst to become inflamed, which appears as a painful red boil. It may also lead to greater scarring and higher risk of recurrence. If you have developed a cyst and are interested in exploring treatment options, it is important to see a medical professional before attempting self-drainage at home.

When Should I See a Plastic Surgeon for Cyst Removal?

If your cyst appears as a firm painless bump under the skin, elective removal may be an option. Please schedule a consultation to discuss the best option for you. If you have medical concerns about your cyst, it is recommended to see your family physician or a local walk-in clinic for assessment.

Schedule a Cyst Removal Consultation

To learn more about whether cyst removal is an option for you, we invite you to contact our Toronto office by calling or filling out our online form.

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