Skin Cyst Removal Singapore
What Are Cysts?
A cyst is a sac like lump which contains either liquid or solid material. There are many types of cysts that can appear in our bodies. Common ones which appear on the surface (on our skin) or close to the surface include epidermoid cyst (or sebaceous cyst), and pilar cyst. Other types of cyst which can occur on the skin or close to the skin include pilonidal cyst and ganglion cyst.
Cysts can also occur on mucosal surfaces e.g. in our mouth/ oral cavity. These are usually called mucous retention cysts.
Common Types of Cyst
Sebaceous Cyst or Epidermoid Cyst
Skin cysts/epidermal cysts are common causes of skin lumps. A sebaceous or epidermoid cyst is formed when there is an abnormal collection of sebum in a sac when the duct or opening of the sebaceous gland becomes blocked. It can increase in size very slowly over a long period of time or may experience a sudden increase in size. It may also become infected forming a collection of pus.
They are often found on the face, neck, and back, though they can be present almost anywhere on the skin surface where there are sebaceous glands. These cysts or lumps are not cancerous. However, they can become problematic when they continue to grow. They may appear in visible areas, appear unsightly, or are present in areas where they can become easily traumatized by movements. If they continue to enlarge, they can also become infected. Once infected, the infection may need to be treated before the lump can be removed.
Sometimes, the material within the cyst sac can be extruded. However, the contents often recollect and the cyst recurs. Frequent manipulation of the cyst may also increase the risk of infection. It is best to have complete removal by surgery.
A pilar cyst is an abnormal sac containing keratin material at the hair follicle. Most pilar cysts occur on the scalp. Although most pilar cysts are not cancerous, they may cause inconvenience and discomfort especially when present on the scalp. Though most are small, some pilar cysts can increase to become significant in size, making it obvious in appearance.
A pilonidal cyst is lump or a collection of fluid at in the crease between the buttocks near your tailbone. It may be present without you realizing it, and is usually infected or painful when it is noticed.
You may experience pain, redness, swelling, discharge or pus. You will need to seek medical treatment. Treatment of the infection is important for the acute stage. However, surgery is often required to drain the pus, remove the cyst, and in some cases to prevent recurrence.
Ganglion cysts are lumps that are often found over the wrists, on the hand or forearm. They contain gelatinous fluid from the surrounding joints.
These are usually not harmful and can be left alone if it does not increase in size or cause inconvenience. You may need to see a specialist for removal of these cyst over the joints.
Mucous Retention Cyst
A mucous retention cyst or a mucocele is a lump containing thick fluid that is found on the mucosal surface of the oral cavity. It is the result of extravasation of saliva from a traumatized minor salivary gland.
Presence of a lump on the mucosal surface of the lip or within the oral cavity can cause irritation during eating or talking. The size of the lump may also fluctuate.
Surgery may be performed to either drain or remove the cysts. This can be done under local anaesthesia, or under a short general anaesthesia if preferred. Our specialist will be able to assess and discuss surgery with you.
When To See A Doctor?
Cysts can remain the same size for a long time without a significant change in size. However, if you find that the lump is growing, we recommend that you see a doctor to for assessment.
The diagnosis of cyst is usually a clinical one made on physical examination. Removal of the cyst is not always necessary. However, it may be present in an inconvenient part of your body or cause discomfort. Sometimes, you may notice that the cyst or skin lump is slowly increasing in size. In the above situations, you may then want to consider removal for histological test of the lump.
You may also choose to remove the cyst if it appears in a prominent area and appear unsightly.
Cyst Removal Surgery
Most skin lumps can be removed as a day surgery procedure. Usually a topical anaesthetic cream is first applied over the area. Further local anaesthetic is then injected to the surrounding area before a skin cut is made. The lump is dissected out and removed for histological test. The wound is then closed and a dressing applied.
FAQs About Cyst Excision
Most people will be able to tolerate removal or excision of a cyst. Individuals who are on blood thinners or anti-clotting medications may need to stop the medications prior to surgery. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication schedule.
After surgery, you may experience some mild pain and bruising over the surgical site for the first few days. These should spontaneously subside with time. You may be given some analgesia to tide you over the initial period. The wound takes about 1 week to heal. Possible side effects include bleeding and bruising of the area.
You do not need any preparation before the removal procedure. If you are taking anti-clotting medications, please inform your surgeon before surgery.
Skin lump surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia – this means that you will be awake during the entire duration of surgery. You will not feel pain as the entire area would have been anaesthetized before the surgery. However, you will be able to feel sensation of gross movement. You will be able to converse with your surgeon and should communicate any sensation of discomfort.
Our specialist plastic surgeon will be able to ensure that you have the best resulting scar from surgery through preoperative planning, meticulous skin closure and post-operative care that can be expected from a plastic surgeon. This is especially important if the lump is at a conspicuous area of your body.
You will have a dressing to cover the surgical area after the procedure. This dressing is usually waterproof in nature for your convenience. However, you should keep the dressing dry as much as possible. You will be reviewed in clinic within the week after surgery for dressing change and wound inspection. During the clinic visit, your specialist will also give you the histology report once it is ready.
After wound healing, our specialist will advise you on scar management to ensure that the scar fades well with time.
Generally, it takes about 1-2 weeks for the wound to heal and stabilize.
If your surgery was performed under local anaesthesia, you may even be able to return to work on the same day or next day if your work does not involve strenuous activities.
We advise that you avoid sports or strenuous activities until your wound heals. Swimming or any activity that can cause your dressings to get wet or dislodged should be avoided. If your wound is in an exposed area of the body e.g. face, we advise that you also avoid excessive sun exposure.
Yes, our clinic will be able to assist you with your insurance claims if your surgery is performed for a medical purpose. If you do not have medical insurance, we can also assist you with your application for Medisave claims.
At WC Ong Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, you can expect quality care and treatment from one of Singapore's best female plastic surgeons. Call us today to enquire about cyst removal.