My Sebaceous Cyst Surgical Removal Experience
My Personal Experience
I had to document my personal experience on sebaceous cyst removal because I realized while on my own tryst to gather info online, there was hardly anything useful or detailed out there. Probably because it’s such a common and minor surgical procedure. For someone who’s about to do any kind of surgery for the first time, it can be a dilemma to not find any comprehensive help online. Hopefully this will help someone who’s on the lookout for a personal account.
P.S: There will be no disturbing images in this post. Nothing to worry about!
P.P.S: I am no expert in this subject. This is a personal experience. Please consult your doctor for clarifications.
Sebaceous cysts or epidermal cysts are fairly common and can occur anywhere in the body. Mine was on my back. A hard lump that became soft, inflamed, painful and red when infected. I had it for around 10 years before I finally decided to take the leap to get it surgically removed.
The first time I consulted a doctor, he told me it’s a sebaceous cyst. To get rid of it completely, I will have to get a surgery done. I chickened out at that time and just opted for drainage even if I was cautioned that it would return back.
If you have a sebaceous cyst, the best thing to do is leave it alone. For a lot of people, these cysts aren’t bothersome and don’t hinder their everyday activities. If, like me, your cyst gets painful, starts swelling up (and looks like it’s about to burst), then it’s recommended that you opt for surgery. Some even do it for cosmetic reasons especially if it's on a very visible area.
And Return Back It Did!
So after getting it drained the first time around, it took around 6-7 years for the cyst to swell up again. It grew pretty slowly and was a hard lump. It did not bother me at all. Until it got inflamed! I did not want the same painful, gory experience that I faced the previous time so I immediately consulted a doc (a general surgeon) who fixed my surgery procedure for the upcoming week. I was not prescribed any medicines.
My Sebaceous Cyst Surgical Procedure
The whole surgery lasted for around 15 minutes. It was carried out by the general surgeon whom I had consulted. I did not keep count but it was pretty quick. It took place in the Operation Theatre (OT) and I was made to change into a hospital gown.
Since the surgery was on my back, I was made to lie down on my stomach. A cloth was then placed over my back and head (I couldn’t see anything). It had an opening through which the operation was done.
I was given 4 injections around the area where I had my cyst (local anaesthesia). I was conscious the whole time. For me, only the injections were a tad painful. The rest of it was pain-free but very awkward considering you could feel a lot of tugging, pulling and cutting going on. This is when I realized if you are a surgeon, it pays to be a good talker too. The doctor kept me relaxed the whole time asking me about my profession (thankfully only that) and making general small talk/jokes.
After the cyst was removed, they used an equipment (I was on my back so I couldn’t see) to burn off the rest of it. You can feel a slight burn inside your surgical wound and some popping sounds, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. I later found out on Wikipedia that it’s called an electro-cauterization tool.
The skin is then stitched back together and a surgical dressing is placed over it. I got 3 stitches.
And that’s it. No other procedures after that. I was sent off then and there after being prescribed medicines – one to reduce gas formation in stomach to be taken 30 minutes before food, antibiotics and a painkiller – for a duration of 5 days.
I felt a bit of pain on the first day post-surgery. It was more uncomfortable than painful. Changing sides while sleeping was a hassle as the wound was on the back of my neck. Second day, the pain almost subsided replaced by a slight itching sensation. This is fine as it means your wound is healing.
Utmost care has to be taken not to get the wound wet after surgery. Do not wash that area until the doc says you can. Keep this in mind and take a long, proper, indulgent bath before your surgery.
I had to change my surgical dressing every 2 days. It did not take up much of my time as the surgical wound was on a very accessible area. The time taken might depend on where your cyst is. They would remove the old surgical dressing, cleanse the area and use a new one. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. This happened for a week and I used to visit the hospital in between work for it.
The only complication I faced was with my medicines. The antibiotics were dreadful for my stomach. I never felt this much joy on completing a course of medicines before. You tend to feel gassy, nauseous and slight stomach cramps. I threw up twice. Other than that, I faced no issues. Again, this is my own personal experience, and you might not face any issues at all with your prescribed medicines.
After 10 days, I got my stitch/sutures removed. This hardly takes a minute or two. You will feel slight pain when this happens. No medicines were prescribed.
You can expect an ugly looking scar that will take time to fade. There are scar healing ointments in the market nowadays. Consult your doc on which one to use.
Sebaceous Cyst Removal Cost in India (2019)
I am from Thrissur District in Kerala, India. Here a sebaceous cyst removal surgery costs around 4000 INR including medicines. The rate might depend on your location and hospital.
Additional costs include:
- Prior to surgery, you will have to do some blood tests and a tetanus injection. For me, this came up to approx. Rs.1500/-.
- Surgical dressing changes cost Rs.100-200 per session.
- Doctor’s consultation fees (for me, this came to a total of Rs.500/-).
Hope this info helped. If you have any more points to share, please leave it in the comment section below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Kalpana Iyer