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When Is the Right Time for Cyst Removal Surgery

When something begins to form beneath your skin, it’s only natural to feel alarmed. While most people are somewhat familiar with acne, deeper, larger lesions like cysts appear less frequently and can linger for a longer time. These enclosed sacs of tissue containing fluids, gases, or semi-solid materials vary in origin, location, size, and level of discomfort. Upon locating a cyst on the skin, however, most people will want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. So, when is the right time to seek cyst removal surgery? And are these measures always necessary for removing cysts from your body?

What to Know About Cyst Removal

Are All Cysts Dangerous?

First, it helps to know a thing or two about cysts and their variations. Indeed, there are several types of cysts that may appear on one’s skin — these include sebaceous cysts, which form like acne does but lie deeper beneath the skin; epidermoid cysts, which result from a buildup of keratin underneath the skin; and ganglion cysts, which tend to appear along tendons or on joints, usually on or near the hands and feet. Fortunately, these three cyst types are usually benign, meaning they’re non-cancerous. That said, even a benign cyst can cause pain and pressure and affect one’s self-esteem.

It’s also worth mentioning that some cysts form inside the body, on reproductive organs, spinal tissue, and even the brain. These cysts are typically a larger cause for concern. Likewise, a small number of cysts across the population turn out to be cancerous. So, while most cysts are not life-threatening, some of them pose serious health risks and require immediate attention.

Do Cysts Go Away on Their Own?

It’s possible for a skin cyst to shrink and disappear over time, especially with proper treatment. For the most part, however, cysts stick around until there’s some sort of intervention, whether intentional or not (a cyst might drain on its own if the skin is ruptured in some way). The most common method for removing cysts involves lancing them, which should only be performed by a professional using the proper, sterilized tools. This simple method creates a small opening that allows the cyst’s built-up fluids to drain from the skin. Draining a cyst in this way will provide immediate relief, releasing pressure. However, some sebaceous cysts return after a while if the pocket lining is not also removed following the lancing process.

When Is Cyst Removal Surgery Required?

So, when is the time right for cyst removal surgery? For starters, a cancerous cyst should be removed as soon as possible — the earlier a malignant lesion is identified and excised, the less likely it is to do further harm or return (the same goes for infected cysts). If a cyst is benign and has already ruptured, however, lancing is usually enough to remove the rest of the cyst’s contents. For a more permanent approach to cyst removal, excision is the way to go. Excision is also the optimal procedure for getting rid of cysts that remain deep inside the skin and have not yet ruptured. Cyst excision involves cutting around the cyst and removing the entire cyst wall and its contents before stitching up the entire area to aid in proper healing.

The Verdict

Not all cysts are dangerous, nor do they all require removal surgery. That said, your dermatologist might recommend a cyst excision procedure if your cyst is causing you pain or discomfort, if said cyst is infected or cancerous, or if it appears to be the best option for eliminating the lesion for good. The experts at Premier Dermatology Partners are here to give you more information on cysts and treatment/removal options so you can feel confident in your skin.

To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.

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