Cyst Removal in Boston


Helena O. Taylor MD, PHD, FACS & Stephen R. Sullivan MD, MPH, FACS

Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston

Cysts (sebaceous cyst, epidermal inclusion cyst, dermoid cyst, pilar cyst, infundibular cyst, pilomatrixoma) are usually benign (not cancer) slow growing “sacks” of tissue that can occur anywhere on the body, though often found on the face and scalp. Cysts can drain, rupture, grow larger, become infected, and deform surrounding tissue. Careful removal is recommended.

Procedure For Cyst Removals

Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can safely and gently remove cysts under local anesthesia to improve the appearance or symptoms. Surgical excision is recommended because of the risk of growth, infection, and rupture. Removal may be covered by your health insurance plan if medically indicated. Some patients may want cysts removed for cosmetic reasons and do not need to use health insurance. The procedure can be performed with little to no pain or discomfort by using numbing medicine. Incisions can often be hidden in a nearby wrinkle or tissue fold and removal of cysts is usually straightforward.

For cyst removal on the scalp, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan do NOT cut or shave your hair. The incision is then meticulously closed, often with dissolving stitches that are buried and do not require removal. Patients recover quickly and can usually shower that day and return to normal activities. Both adults and children tolerate the procedure quite well. When it comes to cyst removal Boston plastic surgeons Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan are comfortable caring for children and working on the face as they are not only plastic surgeons, they are both also fellowship trained in pediatric and craniomaxillofacial surgery. Patients recover quickly with little discomfort.

What are the possible diagnoses?

Common benign bumps include lipoma, epidermal inclusion cyst, sebaceous cyst, infundibular cyst, pilar cyst, dermoid cyst, pilomatrixoma, pilomatricoma, osteoid osteoma. Removal provides an opportunity to determine a diagnosis. Imaging studies such as CT scan, MRI or Ultrasound may be helpful though rarely necessary.

Cyst Removal Boston

Sebaceous Cyst

Cysts form in the deep layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (fat layers) and slowly grow larger in size. Sometimes they connect with the overlying skin and appear as a "blackhead". They can also occasionally become infected. Cysts grow and can become physically deforming as well as compress surrounding structures. This cyst is approximately 2 cm in size and was easily and gently removed under local anesthesia alone. The patient felt no discomfort and the site was closed with dissolving buried stitches that do not need to be removed. When cyst removal is meticulously performed such as with this lesion, the chance of growing back is extremely low and the recovery is straightforward.

Cyst Removal Boston

Osteoid Osteoma

Benign bone growth of the skull that can mimic a cyst, though originates from the bone rather than the soft tissue. Left untreated, they can continue to grow larger and invade the skull bones. This osteoma is approximately 1 cm in size and was easily and gently removed under sedation and local anesthesia. The small incision was placed in an overlying wrinkle. When they occur under the scalp, no hair is removed or shaved. The patient felt little to no discomfort and recovered without interruption in usual activities.

Cyst Removal Boston

Cyst or Osteoma Removal At A Glance

WHAT CYST OR OSTEOMA REMOVAL DOES

  • Gentle removal
  • Smallest possible scar
  • Restores contour
  • Gives a diagnosis

DURATION OF RESULT

Years

LENGTH OF PROCEDURE

30-60 minutes

TYPES OF ANESTHESIA

Local Anesthesia

RECOVERY

  • None

TIME OFF SCHOOL OR WORK

  • None

TIME OFF ACTIVITIES

  • None

Frequently Asked Questions

How do cysts change over time?

Cysts may grow as material collects within. They may rupture, get infected, create a bony defect in the skull or contour defect in the soft tissue, and cause pain.

Is cyst removal necessary?

Surgical excision is often recommended because of the risk of growth, infection, and rupture. Some of our Boston cyst removal patients have cosmetic reasons for undergoing the procedure.

What are the possible diagnoses?

Common benign bumps include lipoma, epidermal inclusion cyst, sebaceous cyst, infundibular cyst, pilar cyst, pilomatrixoma, pilomatricoma, osteoid osteoma. Cyst removal provides an opportunity to determine a diagnosis.

Should I get an x-ray or imaging study?

Imaging studies such as CT scan, MRI or Ultrasound may be helpful though rarely necessary. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can help guide the need for imaging studies.

Minor Procedure Postoperative Instructions

  • Use medication as directed. Most commonly, pain control will be from the local anesthetic, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. You may experience some mild soreness as the local anesthetic wears off.
  • Most wounds will be closed with absorbable sutures and Dermabond (skin glue). The skin glue forms a barrier to water. Over the skin glue you may have Steri-Strips (white or tan tape). Please do not remove the Steri-strips. Leave them in place until they fall off on their own. They may stay for a few weeks.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, you may shower the day of the procedure. Please avoid bathing or soaking the wound in water. Observe the wound for signs of infection such as redness pus or fevers.Please call the surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Observe the wound for signs of infection such as redness pus or fevers. Please call your surgeon if signs of infection are noted.
  • Please call the surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Elevate the surgical site when possible. For facial surgery, consider sleeping with extra pillows. Elevation will help decrease discomfort and minimize swelling.
  • CONSULTATION FOR CYST REMOVAL

    If you have a lesion that needs evaluation, schedule a consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan. Please request a referral from your primary care doctor (you will need the date of your appointment and physician NPI number which our office can provide.) Call to schedule your appointments at Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery office at (617) 492-0620 between the hours of 8:30 – 5:00 or visit our webpage at www.massplasticsurgeons.com.

Call Today 617.492.0620

To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.

300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138

Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery Boston
American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery Fellow American College of Surgeons American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons America Association of Plastic Surgeons Sigill Massachusetts

617.492.0620

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300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge