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Cyst Removal Surgery

Cyst Removal Surgery

Cyst removal surgery is a medical procedure performed to remove a cyst – a sac-like pocket of tissue that can form anywhere in your body. These cysts may contain fluid, or semi-solid material. Often harmless, some cysts can grow large, cause discomfort, or possibly get infected, at which point they may need to be surgically removed.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna performs cyst removal surgery and other reconstructive and aesthetic procedures.

At a glance

Procedure Time
30 minutes
Procedure Anaesthesia
Local Anaesthesia
Procedure Downtime
A few days

Table of Contents

What Is Cyst Removal Surgery?

Cyst removal surgeries are commonplace in medical practice, and they range from relatively simple procedures performed under local anaesthesia to more complex surgeries requiring general anaesthesia. The surgical approach chosen will depend on the cyst’s size, location, and characteristics.

Who Needs Cyst Removal Surgery?

Cyst removal surgery isn’t always necessary, as many cysts are harmless and do not cause symptoms. However, some situations may warrant a surgical approach. Here are some of the specific factors that can make you a good candidate for cyst removal surgery:

  • Pain or discomfort: The first consideration is whether the cyst is causing physical discomfort or pain. If a cyst grows large enough or is located in a place that puts pressure on nerves or sensitive areas, it can cause discomfort or even intense pain. In these cases, cyst removal surgery can be a helpful solution to alleviate the pain
  • Functional limitations: Sometimes, cysts can limit the functionality of certain body parts. For example, a cyst on the wrist (known as a ganglion cyst) can make it difficult to use the affected hand for routine tasks. When a cyst impedes normal body functions, removal may be recommended
  • Recurring infections: If a cyst is prone to recurrent infections, it might be better to remove it entirely. Repeated infections can lead to other complications and are often a sign that the cyst isn’t likely to resolve on its own
  • Continued growth: Most cysts remain small and cause no issues. However, some continue to grow larger over time. A rapidly growing cyst can be a concern because it can lead to increased discomfort, risk of rupture, or may indicate a more serious condition like cancer
  • Potential malignancy: Cysts are generally benign, but in some instances, they may be malignant or have the potential to become cancerous. In cases where the cyst’s nature is uncertain, Anca may recommend removing it so that it can be examined more closely in a lab
  • Cosmetic considerations: While not a medical necessity, cysts located in visible areas, such as the face or neck, might be removed for cosmetic reasons. Visible cysts can affect a person’s appearance, and removing the cyst can help restore the natural look of the skin

Benefits of Cyst Removal Surgery

When a cyst is causing issues, removing it surgically can offer relief and prevent future complications. For instance, if you’re experiencing discomfort, pain, or restriction in function due to a cyst, having it removed will alleviate these symptoms.

In some cases, a cyst may pose a risk of rupture or infection – conditions that can lead to more severe health problems. Through surgery, these threats can be effectively neutralised. Additionally, if there’s a chance the cyst could be cancerous, its removal allows for precise diagnosis and can potentially halt the spread of cancer cells.

More than this, there are cosmetic benefits to cyst removal. Cysts, especially those visible on the skin, can be unsightly and may affect a person’s appearance. Removing the cyst can restore the normal appearance of the skin or body part where the cyst was located.

Types of Cyst Removal Procedures


  • This is one of the most common methods used for cyst removal
  • During this procedure, Anca makes an incision on or near the cyst and removes the entire cyst along with a small amount of the surrounding tissue
  • The aim is to remove the cyst in its entirety to reduce the chance of recurrence
  • After the cyst is removed, the surgeon stitches the wound closed
  • Excision is usually done under local anaesthesia, but for larger cysts or those located deep within the body, general anaesthesia may be used

Drainage or Aspiration

  • Drainage or aspiration is less invasive than excision and is often used for fluid-filled cysts
  • Anca inserts a needle or small tube into the cyst and drains the fluid
  • This technique provides immediate relief from symptoms but does not remove the cyst’s sac, meaning the cyst can potentially refill and recur
  • Local anaesthesia is used during this procedure


  • This technique is often used for larger cysts, particularly those that may be risky to remove entirely, such as Bartholin’s cysts
  • Anca drains the cyst, then sews the edges of the cyst’s sac to form a pouch or marsupium. The marsupium remains open, allowing the cyst to continue draining over time
  • This procedure requires local anaesthesia and may require follow-up visits to ensure the cyst is draining properly

How Is The Cyst Removal Procedure Performed?

The process of a cyst removal surgery involves several stages, including consultations, preparation, the procedure itself, and aftercare. Here’s an in-depth look at what each of these steps entails:


The process begins with an initial consultation, where Anca will evaluate your condition. This may involve a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, MRI, or biopsy to determine the nature of the cyst. The surgeon will discuss various treatment options with you. If a surgical procedure is recommended, they will explain the types of procedures available and suggest the most appropriate one for your case.


You may be asked to fast (no food or drink) for several hours before the surgery, particularly if general anaesthesia will be used. If you’re taking any medications, Anca might instruct you to adjust your usual regimen. Some medicines can interfere with anaesthesia or increase the risk of bleeding.

The Procedure

  • Anaesthesia: Depending on the type of procedure and the cyst’s location, either local or general anaesthesia will be administered
  • Cyst removal: Anca will then proceed with the cyst removal, using the technique that was agreed upon during the consultation phase (excision, drainage/aspiration, marsupialization, or other)
  • Closure: After the cyst is removed, your surgeon will close the incision with stitches or they may use a special kind of glue or adhesive tape


The medical field offers several types of cyst removal procedures. The chosen method will depend on several factors such as the cyst’s size, location, and nature. The different techniques in  cyst removal includes excision, drainage or aspiration and marsupialisation.

Recovery After Cyst Removal Surgery

The recovery process after cyst removal surgery will vary depending on the type of procedure, the location of the cyst, and individual health factors. Let’s break down what the recovery process might look like in detail:

Immediately After Surgery

Immediately following the surgery, you will be monitored in a recovery area until the effects of anaesthesia have worn off. You may feel some pain or discomfort in the area where the cyst was removed. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers, although in some cases, Anca might prescribe a stronger medication.

At-Home Care

  • Wound care: Keeping the incision area clean and dry is crucial to prevent infection. You will be given specific instructions about bathing and changing dressings
  • Activity levels: Depending on the location and size of the cyst, you might need to limit your physical activities to allow the body to heal. Anca will provide guidance on when you can return to normal activities or work
  • Pain and swelling: Some swelling and bruising around the surgical area is common. Over-the-counter medication can often help manage this discomfort, but contact your surgeon if you notice extreme swelling, redness, or increased pain

Follow-Up Appointments

  • Stitches removal: If you have non-dissolvable stitches, you will need a follow-up appointment to remove them. This usually occurs within 7 to 14 days after surgery
  • Healing check: Anca will want to check your healing process and address any concerns you may have. This happens a few weeks after surgery
  • Recurrence monitoring: If the cyst was large or there’s a risk it might recur, Anca might schedule additional follow-up appointments for monitoring

Long-Term Recovery

  • Scar care: Once the wound has fully healed, there may be a scar. Over time, the scar should become less noticeable, but this process can be facilitated by protecting the area from the sun, and with the use of certain creams or ointments recommended by Anca
  • Watch for recurrence: Even after successful surgery, cysts can sometimes return. Contact Anca’s office if you notice signs of a recurring cyst, such as a new lump in the same area

It’s important to note that everyone’s recovery timeline will be different, and some people may recover more quickly than others. Always follow Anca’s advice and don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have concerns during your recovery.


Patient satisfaction is the top priority for Anca. You can find how patients feel about her work below.

Further Reading




Frequently asked questions

The recovery time after cyst removal surgery can vary greatly depending on the individual and the specifics of the procedure, including the size and location of the cyst. However, most people find that they can return to their normal activities within 1 to 2 weeks following the surgery. Anca will give you a more personalised estimate based on your individual circumstances.

There will likely be a scar where Anca made the incision to remove the cyst. The size and visibility of the scar depend on several factors, including the size of the cyst, the surgical technique used, and your body’s healing process. In most cases, scars fade over time and become less noticeable.

Although the aim of cyst removal surgery is to fully remove the cyst and prevent recurrence, there’s still a chance that a cyst can come back, especially if the entire cyst wall was not removed during the procedure. Regular follow-up visits with Anca can help monitor for any signs of recurrence.

Pain levels can vary, but discomfort is generally well managed with medications. You might feel some pain or discomfort at the site of the surgery after the procedure, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication if needed.

Not all cysts require surgical removal. Many cysts are harmless and can be left alone if they don’t cause symptoms. However, if a cyst is causing pain, growing rapidly, or located in a place that’s causing problems, Anca may recommend surgical removal. The decision will be based on your symptoms, the cyst’s characteristics, and your overall health.

As with any surgical procedure, cyst removal carries certain risks and potential complications. While these are generally rare and measures are taken to minimise them, it’s important to understand what they could involve. Let’s examine some possible risks:


  • Infection is a potential risk with any type of surgery. While steps are taken to minimise this risk, such as cleaning the area thoroughly before surgery, there’s still a small chance that an infection could develop at the incision site
  • Signs of infection can include redness, swelling, increasing pain, discharge from the wound, or a high temperature. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to contact Anca promptly


  • While Anca takes precautions to control bleeding during surgery, there’s still a small risk of post-operative bleeding
  • If you notice a lot of bleeding from the surgical site or if you feel weak or dizzy, seek immediate medical attention

Reaction to Anaesthesia

  • Anaesthesia, whether local or general, carries a risk of allergic reaction or adverse side effects
  • These can range from mild reactions like skin rashes or nausea to more severe ones like difficulty breathing. Any concerns or known allergies should be discussed with your Anca prior to surgery


  • Scarring is a common consequence of most surgeries. The size and visibility of the scar will depend on the size of the cyst and the method used to remove it
  • Most scars will fade over time and become less noticeable


  • Even after successful cyst removal, there’s a chance that a cyst can recur, especially if the cyst was not fully removed during the surgery
  • Regular follow-up visits can help detect and manage any recurring cysts promptly

Damage to Surrounding Tissues

  • Although surgeons aim is to remove the cyst with minimal impact on surrounding tissues, there’s always a slight risk of damage
  • This can potentially lead to longer recovery times or additional treatment

About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon

top UK cosmetic surgeon anca breahnaMs Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Anca performs a range of breast, body and face surgery and minor skin procedures.

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in her region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has been largely undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK to further extend her qualifications and training.

Anca’s NHS practice is now focused on Breast Reconstructive Surgery, Skin Cancer Surgery, Hand Surgery and soft tissue reconstruction. Over the last 15 years, through her pursuit of further training and education, Anca has developed a special interest and expert practical experience in a range of Aesthetic Breast and Body Surgery.

It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca will treat you in a straightforward manner, with respect, consideration and empathy to ensure you are comfortable with your choice.



Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • A Medical Referral from your Doctor before your consultation is not compulsory however  it is recommended.
  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is available on-site at all hospitals.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans or to request more information about the procedure, contact us.

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £150 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Team

Call Claire on 0800 080 6026 or Joedy on 03332 244111 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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    Nuffield Health
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