Cysts can occur in many places on or even in the body. Cysts can develop just under the surface of the skin, for example. One place that commonly develops skin cysts is the neck. Because they’re in such a conspicuous area, many people choose to get neck cysts removed. In addition, cysts on the neck can be uncomfortable due to being in an area of lots of movement.
What are cysts?
Cysts are a sort of enclosed pocket within the body. They can occur in several parts of the body, including under the skin. Cysts located under the skin contain a combination of pus, dead skin cells, and possibly bacteria. They can be caused by duct blockages, swollen hair follicles, or infections. A cyst will show up as a bump (which may or may not be movable) and often grows with time as more accumulates underneath the skin. Cysts can be painful, but they aren’t always.
When do neck cysts need to be removed by a doctor?
Most cysts under the skin are harmless. However, there are certain cases in which you should see a doctor about a skin cyst. If there is any pain or redness with the cyst, it could be infected. A doctor can remove the cyst and also prescribe antibiotic treatment for the infection. If the cyst is in an area that shows, such as the face, neck, arms, etc., you may want to have it removed so it doesn’t interfere with appearance.
If it’s in an area that is highly visible like the face or neck and needs to be removed, a plastic surgeon is an ideal choice since they specialize in minimizing scarring and ensuring the final result looks as inconspicuous as possible.
How are neck cysts removed?
There are several ways in which cysts can be medically removed by a doctor. One of these ways is through drainage. Your doctor will clean the area and then make an incision through which the cyst will drain. Packing may be placed to help contain the drainage.
Aspiration is another method. Using a fine-tipped hollow needle, the contents of the cyst are withdrawn. This method is useful when a cyst needs to be biopsied.
Surgical cyst removal involves cutting the skin and removing the entire cyst.
With any method, antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection is suspected or to prevent one from forming. Your doctor will choose the best method based on the type and location of the cyst.
What is recovery like after cyst removal surgery?
Neck cyst removal is an outpatient procedure. You should avoid heavy physical activity for a week afterwards to allow the area to heal well. Be gentle around the area the cyst was in. Keep the area covered with a bandaid to avoid infection while it heals. And if your doctor prescribes oral antibiotics or antibiotic ointment, be sure to follow all prescription instructions.
If you have a neck cyst you’d like removed, contact our office here to set up an appointment.