Epidermal Cyst Excision

Epidermal Cyst Excision

Excision of an epidermal or pilar cyst is usually done under local anaesthetic. However, multiple cysts may require a general anaesthetic.

If you do not want to feel the local anaesthetic needle, you may have the procedure done under sedation or general anaesthetic.

An ellipse is made over the cyst. This includes the punctum in the case of an epidermal cyst and any skin that is stuck to the wall of the cyst. It is important to remove the entire cyst wall to avoid recurrence. The cyst is sent to be analysed under the microscope at the pathology laboratory.

The wound is closed with non-dissolving sutures.

Cyst excision carries a small risk of bleeding, infection and wound breakdown.

The cyst may recur if the cyst wall is incompletely excised.

If the cyst lies over an area where a sensory nerve travels, this may rarely be injured during the excision which will result in a small area of numbness.

After surgery

Pain is mild and will be felt once the local anaesthetic wears off about 3 hours after the procedure.

If you require pain-killers, you can use Panadol or Neurofen (provided you have no contra-indications to using these medications)

Scalp wounds are dressed with an ointment (Chlorsig) which you should apply three times a day for 3 days. You can shower normally after 24 hours.

A waterproof dressing is used elsewhere. It stays on for 7 days.

If the dressing is wet, it is important to report this to your nurse or doctor as it needs to be changed. If this happens after you leave hospital, you need to see your local doctor or contact us.

After 7 days, when this dressing is removed, it is okay for the sutures or staples to be exposed to air and to have a shower without covering the wound.

You cannot go for a swim or soak the wound in a bathtub for at least 2 weeks or until after your follow up wound review.

Sutures will be removed after 7 days from the scalp, 10-12 days from the trunk or arms, 12-14 days from the legs or back.

The procedure is usually performed in the rooms and you can drive yourself home.

If the procedure is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia, you can go home the same day but will need to be picked up as you cannot drive until the next day (preferably 24 hours after the anaesthetic)

You will be given a follow up appointment for your sutures to be removed. Pathology of the removed cyst will be discussed at the same time.