Cyst Removal @ CPSC

Epidermoid and trichilemmal (pilar) cysts are common benign lesions of the skin. They are sometimes called sebaceous cysts but this is not the correct term. Trichilemmal cysts usually occur on the scalp and epidermoid cysts are usually on the face, neck or the torso. Both are usually related to hair follicles. Often people put up with them for a long time before seeking treatment, believing that removal of these lesions is a more significant procedure than it actually is. However for a lot of people, they don’t like them, they cause discomfort or pain, can be smelly or discharge on to clothing or they are simply aesthetically not pleasing. Cysts can become troublesome if they rupture or burst, leading to an inflammatory response and significant discomfort or pain for a few days to a week before settling. Sometimes this can lead to a discharge from the skin of pus and/or cyst contents.

Cyst Removal

Removal of a cyst can usually be done under local anaesthetic and with a small incision. If a cyst has ruptured in the past but remains in the skin, it is usually more difficult to remove the cyst as often there is scarring within the skin. The key to removing a cyst is to ensure removal of the cyst wall as this reduces the risk of it recurring. This can be more difficult after a cyst has ruptured. Removal of a large or bothersome cyst prior to rupture is reasonable and generally makes the procedure quicker and easier. Some large cysts may not be suitable to be removed under local anaesthetic and so may need referral to a surgeon to be done in hospital.


Cysts that can be removed out of hospital, are done so after injection of local anaesthetic. A small incision or hole is made through the skin over the top of the cyst and then it is deliberately ruptured allowing the contents to be removed. The cyst wall is then pulled out through the small incision or hole. This method of removal allows a cyst to be taken out through a cut in the skin much smaller than the cyst itself and is sutured closed afterwards. Generally we would remove the sutures about a week after the procedure.

If a cyst has ruptured in the past and there is significant scar tissue present, it may be necessary to cut around the cyst and remove more skin. This requires a bigger incision and therefore a bigger scar.

An appointment with one of our doctors is required prior to proceeding to have these removed. This is to ensure that the diagnosis is correct and that it can be done safely under local anaesthetic in our rooms. We also need to review your medical history, what medications you are taking and discuss the nature of and risks of the procedure.  Sometimes we may refer you to have an ultrasound to evaluate a small lump prior to removal to confirm a diagnosis and/or ensure it is not close to or attached to important structures. As mentioned previously, we sometimes refer difficult cysts to other specialists such as general or plastic surgeons where necessary.

Where possible, a cyst might be able to be removed in the same appointment, otherwise a follow up procedure will be booked at another time.

Please note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks, so before proceeding, if you have any concerns, please seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

How much does it cost to remove a cyst?

For removal of a cyst, there is usually a gap of about $250 to pay out of pocket after a medicare rebate is applied. The total fee varies depending on size and location. This will change if more than one cyst is done at the same time, and is in addition to any appointment fee. Fees will be discussed prior to proceeding to removal.

Want to discuss cyst removal?

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