Cysts may be benign most of the time, but they can also be a literal pain in the neck. Cysts that grow large may cause pain on their own or friction when clothing rubs against them. If they are in a visible location like the face or neck, they can also be an eyesore that makes you self-conscious about your appearance. Fortunately, cyst removal is usually a straightforward process that results in an excellent cosmetic outcome when performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Barrett at his Beverly Hills office.
What is a Cyst?
A cyst is an abnormal sac that appears on the body. It can be filled with air, fluid, skin cells, pus or bacteria. Most cysts are benign, but they should be checked by a health professional since a few may turn out to be cancerous. They can appear anywhere on the body and vary dramatically in size. Dr. Barrett frequently sees patients with skin cysts, pockets that have developed due to clogged pores or hair follicles. Whether you want to remove a cyst for medical or cosmetic reasons, Dr. Barrett will make sure you are given the proper care and necessary treatment.
Types of Cysts
Dr. Barrett treats a variety of cysts, including the following:
This common, benign cyst consists of a buildup of keratin underneath the surface of the skin. The cysts can appear on various areas of the body including the face, neck, head or back. If the cyst becomes infected, it can become red and painful.
These growths are filled with sebaceous fluid, an oily substance responsible for keeping the skin lubricated. Sebaceous cysts occur inside a pore or hair follicle on the back, face and scalp. They can grow quite large, causing pain and pressure.
These fluid-filled sacs frequently appear around joints of the hand, wrist, feet or ankle. Some ganglion cysts can be attributed to injury or overuse but in many cases, the cause is not known. Although they are harmless, these cysts can become large enough to be disfiguring and even interfere with function in some cases.
What is Cyst Removal?
Cyst removal is a minor surgical process that excises the entire sac and the contents within it. If the cyst is merely drained, without removing the sac, it is likely to return. Dr. Barrett usually recommends full removal to prevent a recurrence. The procedure is performed as an outpatient treatment using topical anesthetic at our well-equipped office in Los Angeles. Dr. Barrett will take sufficient time with your procedure to ensure you receive the best possible cosmetic outcome. He will also provide a proper examination and diagnosis of the cyst to ensure it is not malignant.
Is Cyst Removal Right for You?
The best candidates for cyst removal surgery are individuals who have cysts that pose a cosmetic or functional concern. The following conditions may also make cyst removal a good choice for you:
- Multiple skin lumps beneath the skin’s surface that may be solid and hard to the touch
- Skin lumps that are significantly swollen or discolored
- Discomfort or pain from the cyst or skin lump
- Cysts that are leaking fluid or pus
When you schedule your in-person consultation with Dr. Barrett, he will perform a careful examination of your cyst and base your treatment plan on the location, size and type of cyst you have. With that information, he can then design a customized procedure that will eliminate the growth and produce the best possible aesthetic outcome for you.
Dr. Barrett performs cyst removal in his office using topical numbing in most situations. He will carefully excise the full sac and contents. If necessary, he will send a sample to the lab for further assessment. Once the cyst is completely removed, he will suture the opening closed, using a layered technique that prevents tension on the skin that could affect scar healing.
After Cyst Removal
While you will likely be able to return to regular activities the same day or the next day, the treated area will need a couple of weeks to heal fully. Since Dr. Barrett does not use dissolvable stitches due to their propensity for causing tissue inflammation, you will need to return to his office to have your stitches removed. With the layered approach, Dr. Barrett typically schedules two appointments for this process, one at the one-week mark and another one week later.
Once stitches are removed, you will begin a taping protocol that ensures optimal protection and sun protection. After two weeks of taping, Dr. Barrett will start you on a three-month scar gel treatment protocol to ensure your scar heals cleanly and visible evidence of the incision is minimal. To produce an optimal outcome, you will also be prohibited from swimming, bathing and hot tubs for the first two weeks after your treatment. More information on aftercare and the recovery process will be provided during your consultation to help you achieve the best results.
Greater Comfort, Enhanced Appearance
Cyst removal can lead to greater physical comfort as well as more confidence in your appearance. If you have a cyst you would like to get rid of, now is the time to contact Barrett Plastic Surgery at 310-598-2648 to schedule your consultation.