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Surgical Dermatology: Removal of Cysts and Lipoma

Surgical Dermatology: Removal of Cysts and Lipoma

Surgical Dermatology: Removal of Cysts and Lipoma

Surgical dermatology is the effective removal of all types of skin growths, cancerous and noncancerous. If surgery is necessary, you will be informed by your doctor. Surgical dermatology is also focused on the prevention of precancerous lesions. For conditions that are on the outer layer of the skin, (epidermis), the surgeon might shave them off with a scalpel or apply a cold spray of liquid nitrogen with lasers made for that purpose. Surgical dermatology is also used to treat non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as tattoo removal, hair removal, chemical peels, fillers, or implants. It is used to remove benign growths that are unsightly such as cysts, lipoma, and large moles. In most cases, it can be carried out in a side room at the doctor’s office. Cyst is a semi-liquid lump usually attached to the skin and can be found anywhere in the body. anyone can have a cyst in their skin, mostly during puberty, or when an individual has damaged skin. Cysts are of different types and the type depends on their location in the body. when they grow on the skin, it is usually tempting to pop them, but this is not advisable. A medical professional must be contacted. They are usually tender and red with a dark tip at the top. They don’t need treatments, but only a medical professional can confirm if it doesn’t need any treatment.  

Types of Cysts

  • Acne Cyst – This is often called a “pimple”, and in some cases, it goes away on its own, or with some drugs at the pharmacy. In serious cases, skin pores become blocked, leading to an infection.
  • Baker’s Cyst – This is a fluid-filled lump at the back of your knee caused by arthritis or a torn ligament. It gets worse with physical activity.
  • Breast Cyst – They are common, but not painful. In ladies, this is usually influenced by their menstrual cycle. The fluid can be drained by a doctor if it causes any discomfort.
  • Sebaceous Cyst – This is found at the back of the ears, hand, or scrotum. It doesn’t hurt, but you might notice an offensive odor.

Treatment for Cyst. As tempting as it may be, you should never try to pop a cyst in any part of your body. it may lead to an infection. Oftentimes, they go on their own, but as a form of first aid treatment, a warm compress on a cyst can drain its liquid. For large cysts, the doctor might recommend surgery. Most cysts develop because of an underlying medical condition. A health professional will examine the cyst with the aid of a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present in the cyst. If present, surgical removal will be suggested. Carbon dioxide laser can also be used to vaporize the cyst, but this can lead to minor scarring on the affected part.  


Lipomas are similar to cysts. They are similar in size and they also form under the skin. But unlike cyst, lipomas are lumps of fats that are built up under the skin. The procedure is subtle, and they don’t require any visit to the hospital. They don’t have openings like cysts and they usually appear soft. The cause of lipoma isn’t clear, but it is often hereditary and common between middle-aged men and women. Lipomas can be found inside the internal organs and the muscles. If it starts to cause you pain or any form of discomfort, then you need to have it removed surgically. Lipoma, if found near the bowels may cause nausea, vomiting, and constipation About 1 in 1,000 people are known to have a lipoma, it affects both genders, but it is more common among women. They can be found in any part of the body, such as arms, legs, back, shoulder, and even the forehead. To diagnose lipoma, a biopsy is needed to confirm it. Tests like X-ray, MRI, and CT scans can also give a clearer picture.  

Types of Lipoma

  • Conventional – This type of lipoma is the most common type of lipoma, it contains white fat cells.
  • Hibernoma – This lipoma contains brown fat, and this brown fat helps to regulate body temperature.
  • Myelolipoma – This contains fats and tissues that produce blood cells.

All Lipomas contain fat, blood vessels, and other tissues.

Treatment Lipoma can be removed surgically. It is not a complicated procedure and you can be discharged the same day the surgery is done. Liposuction is another way to remove the lipoma. A long thin needle will be used to remove the fats and tissues.

Prevention It is quite impossible to prevent lipoma since it is hereditary. The best thing to do is to reduce (Madelung), a condition that causes lipoma to grow by reducing the intake of alcohol.  

Differences between Cyst and Lipoma

  • Lipomas are usually found beneath the skin, while Cysts tends to be closer to the skin’s surface
  • Lipomas do not leave the skin irritated, but Cysts make the skin irritated and cause swellings around them.
  • Lipomas are larger, while Cysts appear smaller.

Is Surgery Necessary for Cyst and Lipoma Removal?

Complete surgery can ensure the total removal of the sac, and ensure it doesn’t grow again, but this technique requires time and suture closure. Surgery should only be considered in extreme situations. For a breast cyst, surgery is necessary if the breast contains blood-tinged fluids or the patient is showing symptoms of discomfort, or if it is an uncomfortable breast cyst that recurs every month. For Baker’s cyst, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area, the surgeon proceeds to make a cut and pull out the cyst. Certain cysts that occur in the ovary can be removed through laparoscopy, in this procedure, the surgeon makes some incisions, then a laparoscope (a camera) is inserted into the incision to remove the cyst. Just like Cyst, Lipoma can be removed surgically, by making a small incision around the affected part, and pressing out the lipoma. The surgery is a quick one and shouldn’t take more than a few hours. The patient can be asked to leave after the surgery. Surgical dermatology can also be used to treat the effects of aging, wrinkles, and sun damage on the can also be used to treat skin cancer with MOHS surgery. The lipoma material is often sent to the laboratory for analysis after the surgery Fatty tumors could be cancerous. it is important to seek medical advice if Lipoma becomes painful or gets bigger. Lipomas and cysts are common cells that can be treated by a skilled dermatologist. There are other types of skin lumps, they could be caused by injuries, swelling, or infections, if it is caused by an unknown injury, it could be bruising. Other swellings could be salivary gland stones or disorders with the parotid glands. If you ever notice any lump on your skin, kindly consult your doctor, it is important to have the lumps checked for any form of cancer.

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NEDA MEHR, MD is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Pure Dermatology Cosmetic & Hair Center, one of the largest and most comprehensive privately owned dermatology and hair centers in the nation. Dr. Neda Mehr has been awarded “Top Cosmetic Dermatologist“ in Newport Beach, specializing in all aspects of the skin and hair for both male and female patients. Dr. Mehr is known for being a “functional dermatologist” and looking at a patient as a whole person rather than a problem. This role has placed her as a fan favorite and leading expert in acne and hair loss, and she can be seen regularly in Allure, Cosmopolitan, NBC California Live and countless other platforms sharing her expert knowledge to help patients look and feel their very best!
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