Patients often undergo cyst removal in order to treat benign cysts that may be unsightly or causing pain from pressing on a nerve. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that grows inside or outside the body. There are different types of cysts, ranging from ovarian cysts to sebaceous cysts. Normally, cysts are very small and do not pose a health risk. However, if the cyst begins to rapidly grow and causes discomfort, doctors will recommend removal of the cyst.
The method for a cyst removal depends on the type of cyst that a person has. For a cyst inside the body such as an ovarian cyst, doctors will conduct a laparoscopic procedure to remove the cyst. This involves putting the patient under general anesthesia and making two small incisions into the stomach. The surgeon will insert a small thin tube with a camera in one incision to see the cyst and then insert a surgical tool into the other incision to pull out the cyst. A patient typically has an expected downtime of two to three days and can return to light activity within a week.
When a patient needs cyst removal of a cyst that is underneath the top layer of the skin, such as a lipoma, doctors have the option of performing it in one of three ways. If the cyst is small, the doctor will administer a local anesthetic in the area where the cyst is, make a small incision and squeeze the cyst out. If it is a large cyst, the person may need to be under general anesthesia in order to remove the lump. Newer treatments are available for fatty lipoma cysts, which include having a dermatologist use liposuction to remove the cyst.
Individuals should realize that even though doctors can remove certain types of cysts, there is a risk that the cyst could return. Doctors do their best to remove the entire cyst but may not be able to take out the entire cyst because of the size and location of the cyst. Occasionally, people have multiple cysts that grow in the same area and a few could form again in the same spot due to the abnormal cells.
After the doctor performs the cyst removal, the physician will send a small sample of the cyst to a pathologist to examine the cells for cancer and other malignancies. Some patients might experience burning or itching near the incision site and will need to wear a protective bandage over the area. Doctors will also prescribe antibiotics and pain pills to take after the procedure to prevent infections and control pain. Patients will have to follow up with their doctor a few days after the cyst removal so that the doctor can check for infection and provide the pathology results.