Cyst removal in London
A skin cyst is a fluid-filled bump which lies just underneath the skin and is normally harmless, however, all cysts should be checked by a dermatologist. Surgical removal is the most commonly used method of removal at Centre for Surgery. Our surgeons also offer removal of skin tags and warts, lipomas and moles.
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Our cyst removal experts
Over 15 years experience with all types of skin lesion removal – skin tag removal, wart removal, mole removal, lipoma removal and cyst removal
We regularly receive patients from overseas at our plastic and cosmetic surgery specialist centre
Our surgeons are UK trained NHS consultant plastic surgeons who live and work in London. We don’t work with ‘fly-in, fly-out’ surgeons. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise complications, complications can and do occur and our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise.
We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed treatment takes time and should not be rushed.
What are cysts?
Many of us have skin imperfections which can develop over the course of our lives and tend to increase and enlarge as we age. A cyst is a spherical capsule lined by a membranous wall which often consists of fluid or other substances such as pus especially when infected. Cysts can be found anywhere on the body and are most commonly just beneath the skin. There are a myriad variety of cysts, some much more common than others but fortunately most cysts are harmless and benign. In all cases where you might notice a potential cyst, it is important to be assessed by a dermatologist to make it is not something more serious and reach a proper diagnosis leading to the correct treatment. Cysts also differ in the sizes they reach from something as small as a pea to larger cysts which can be more than 5cm across. Cysts generally share a common feature of exhibiting slow growth.
Cysts can often appear to be aesthetically unattractive, particularly if they appear on a visible area of the body. Cysts can even become infected and require treatment with antibiotics. Removing cysts can remove any irritation it is causing and improve the appearance of your skin.
Types of cyst
Epiodermoid cysts are the most commonly encountered type of cyst and are generally small and well demarcated lumps and composed of keratin which is what human hair is made of. Often trivial injury to the base of the hair follicle may lead to the development of an epidermoid cyst. Some people have a propensity for the outermost layer of skin known as the epidermis to develop inwards as opposed to the normal direction of outwards before being shed in the normal way. This disordered process contributes to the development of epidermoid cysts. Some people may suffer from a rare condition known as Gardners syndrome which has a strong association with the formation of epidermoid cysts.
Although less common than epidermoid cysts, sebaceous cysts develop when sebum which is naturally expressed from sebaceous glands is unable to reach the skin surface due to blockage. Sebaceous cysts can become infected and this could lead to cyst rupture.
Mucous retention cysts
Mucous retention cysts are most commonly found on mucous membranes such as the oral cavity and on the lip. They develop when the small accessory salivary glands become blocked and the channel for salivary secretion becomes blocked. The blocked salivary gland results in thick mucus production. Mucous retention cysts develop from poor oral hygiene, presence of lip foreign bodies such as piercings or biting of the inside of the cheeks often from dental malocclusion. Although mucous cysts are known to settle spontaneously, they are known to recur and may then require surgical removal.
Cystic acne is one of the most severe forms of acne and can be difficult to treat effectively. The condition develops when excess sebum and pus form beneath the skin and do not become expressed onto the skin surface leading to cyst formation. These areas of overactivity develop further beneath the skin and in some cases the sebaceous glands responsible for synthesis of sebum becomes destroyed.
Breast cysts develop when fluid from the breast ducts becomes blocked in its normal passage to the surface of the breast. They can sometimes result in pain or localised tenderness to touch. The vast majority are benign but it is always recommended to be assessed in a breast clinic to rule out cancerous change. Breast cysts occur most commonly in women in their 4th and 5th decade of life.
Ideal candidates for cyst removal
You will be considered a good candidate for removal if you have a cyst or multiple cysts which you dislike the appearance of and wish to have removed.
Centre for Surgery only offers cyst removal to those who are 18 years or older.
Cyst removal surgical techniques
Prior to having any cysts removed, you will have a consultation with a surgeon. The surgeon will be able to carefully examine the cyst to determine the best method of removal. This will help to determine whether you need a surgical or non-surgical removal.
Non-surgical removal involves the use of cryotherapy. This works to freeze the cyst off the skin. Cryotherapy applies extreme cold to the skin, hating the blood supply to the cyst. This causes it to scab over and after around 7 to 10 days will fall off. This procedure will take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. However, this may not be suitable for all cysts, and your surgeon may recommend you undergo surgical cyst removal.
Surgical cyst removal is done by curettage and cautery. This involves using a curette, which is a sharp, spoon-like object. This is used to scrape the cyst off the skin. Heat is then used to close the wound, with no need for stitches. This wound will heal in about two to three weeks. Prior to the removal, you will be given a local anaesthetic in order to avoid feeling any pain and discomfort.
In some instances, a surgical excision will be considered the best option. This involves using a scalpel, knife, scissors or razors to remove the cyst from the skin. This is considered the routine way for cysts to be removed.
If necessary, your cyst may be sent to the lab for analysis. Results will generally be available after a few days. We can also notify your GP if you would like them to be notified also.
Recovery after cyst removal
If you had cryotherapy, this is considered a non-surgical procedure, and there is no recovery time involved.
As you will be given a local anaesthetic prior to having cryotherapy or curettage, you will have to wait until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off before being able to leave the clinic to return home. You should notice no other side effects.
What is a cyst?A cyst of which common types include epidermoid cysts and sebaceous cysts is an encapsulated swelling composed of fluid. Cysts often develop anywhere on the body and may be become infected. Cysts should be removed by surgical excision and it is important to fully remove the lining of the cyst to prevent recurrence.
The vast majority of sebaceous cysts are benign with no potential for cancerous change.
What are the causes of cyst formation?There are large number of different varieties of cysts. Each specific type of cyst often have a number of different causes and is often related to the part of the body they are found on. Common cysts such as epidermoid cysts which is the most common type of cyst have an overlying layer of tough proteinaceous material to prevent their breakdown and this is often why they do not spontaneously resolve. The normal state of affairs involves the skin cells migrating to superficial levels of the skin before they are shed from the skin surface but in the case of some types of cyst such as epidermoid cysts, the skin cells migrate to a deeper layer and this contributes to the formation of a sac lined by a cyst wall. Keratin, the protein found in human hair is commonly found in the contents of the sac this takes on the appearance of a yellow and curd-like material. When cysts burst, often when picked, this material oozes out onto the skin surface.
Cysts most commonly occur after puberty when there are significant hormonal changes, patients with a history of active acne or via a traumatic injury to the surface of the skin. Although cysts can occur at any age and in both genders without obvious cause. It is widely accepted that skin cysts cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
Common causes of cyst formation:
Duct blockage leading to inspissated secretions
Chronic inflammatory conditions
Many cysts may be present as part of a more widespread syndrome such as PCOS or those who suffer from poly cystic kidneys.
Should I have cyst removal?Cyst removal is only needed if you dislike the appearance of the cyst, or you are experiencing any irritation from the cyst.
How will the cyst be removed?This will vary from person to person. During your consultation, your surgeon will examine the cyst/s, and decide the best method of removal. There are non-surgical procedures as well as surgical options.
Cyst removal options include:
- Curettage and cautery
- Surgical excision
How long will the procedure take?This will vary depending on which type of removal you have, however, the whole procedure should take no longer than 30 minutes.
What is the recovery period like?If you have a non-surgical procedure, there will be no recovery time. If you had a surgical procedure, you will be able to go home once the effects of the local anaesthetic have worn off.