Dermoid Cyst Removal
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Dermoid Cyst Removal Overview
A dermoid cyst is a saclike growth that is present at birth. It contains structures such as hair, fluid, teeth, or skin glands that can be found on or in the skin.
Dermoid cysts grow slowly and are not tender unless
ruptured. They usually occur on the face, inside the skull, on the lower back,
and in the ovaries. Superficial dermoid cysts on the face usually can be removed without complications. Removal of other, rarer dermoid cysts requires special techniques and training. These rarer dermoid cysts occur in 4 major areas:
- Dermoid cysts in the brain: Dermoid cysts occur very
rarely here. A neurosurgeon may need to remove them if they cause problems.
- Dermoid cysts in the nasal sinuses: These are also very rare. Only a handful of cases involving dermoid cysts located here are reported each year. Removal of these cysts is extremely complicated.
- Ovarian dermoid cysts: These growths can develop in a
woman during her reproductive years. They can cause torsion, infection,
rupture, and cancer. These dermoid
cysts can be removed with either conventional surgery or laparoscopy (surgery
that uses small incisions and specially designed instruments to enter the
abdomen or pelvis).
- Dermoid cysts of the spinal cord: A sinus tract, which is a narrow connection from a deep pit in the skin, usually connects these very rare cysts to the skin surface. This type of dermoid cyst can become infected. Removal is often incomplete, but the outcome is usually excellent.
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