A cyst is a cluster of cells that have grouped to form a closed sac, contain air, fluids, or semi-solid material, with a distinct membrane and structure compared to the surrounding tissue. Cysts can occur almost anywhere in the body (e.g., face, scalp, behind the knee, arm, groin, and within organs). The majority of cysts are benign, but a few may contain malignant cells. When a cyst fails to resolve, depending on the severity, it may need to be removed surgically. A lipoma is a proliferation of fat cells that are encapsulated by a fibrous, yet thin capsule often found right under the skin. Lipomas can form on any area of the body; more commonly seen on the neck, armpits, upper arms, torso, and upper thigh. It is worth noting that a lipoma is noncancerous. Both a cyst and a lipoma are removed in similar manners. Thus the procedure for removal of a cyst or lipoma will be described concertedly.
Before the procedure, we may palpate the target area depending on the location and its prominence. We may order a radiology image for a better view if it is under the skin. In some instances, a needle biopsy may be ordered to rule out if a cyst-like structure is not malignant.
The target area is first numbed with a local anesthetic. In general, cysts or lipomas are treated either by an incised & drained method or a excised & closed method depending on the amount of inflammation. The overall goal of this medical treatment is to limit any frequent symptoms associated with the underlying cause(s). To prevent the cyst or lipoma from recurring, we will ensure that it is completely removed.