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Dermoid Cysts: The Basics

A less typically discussed type of cyst is the dermoid cyst. The dermoid cyst is one which may appear on any area of the body and afflicts both men and women. Although it is not one which is discussed as often as say the ovarian cyst or ganglion cyst, it is one which should be given thorough attention. The following paragraphs will describe some general information regarding the dermoid cyst in order to make its aspects known to the public.

What Is A Dermoid Cyst?

The first question that should be answered is what a dermoid cyst really is. The dermoid cyst is a non-cancerous tumor or growth which appears in any region throughout the body, although it is more likely to appear in places such as the face, neck and scalp. These cysts are comprised of a combination of hair follicles, sweat glands and skin cells when they take place on the skin. They take the form of lumps and are seen to have a pit and/or sinus tract embedded within them. Some cysts, particularly those which are formed in the abdomen or ovary of an individual, may actually have other matters within them including hair, teeth or nerves.

Causes of a Dermoid Cyst

Dermoid cysts of the skin usually appear in children with a little less than half presenting at birth. By the time a child reaches the age of 5, a dermoid cyst if it is going to appear will most likely have done so by that time period. The reason for the occurrence of dermoid cysts has been linked to a problem in skin tissue development while the child was an embryo. For other types of dermoid cysts, for example those appearing in the spine or abdominal region, these kinds of cysts can form at any time on a person of any sex, age, etc.

Diagnosis of Dermoid Cysts

The first part in diagnosing a dermoid cyst is through physical examination by a doctor. The doctor may lean towards a diagnosis of a dermoid cyst; however, the medical professional may wish to back up the physical exam with some other tests. X-rays, CT scans and MRIs are some possible testing procedures which the doctor may elect to do in order to come up with a firm diagnosis which shows that the mass is actually a dermoid cyst. The MRI is especially helpful with properly diagnosing a dermoid cyst as the doctor will be able to adequately plan for any surgical procedures which may need to take place.

Dermoid Cysts: The Treatment Phase

Once a proper and final diagnosis has been received, it is then time to figure out the best way in which to proceed with treating the dermoid cyst. Typically, surgery is the best way to remove dermoid cysts. There are a few different forms of surgery that can be chosen from. The first, less invasive type of surgery is reserved for those who have a dermoid cyst on either their tongue or other portions of their mouths. The reason for surgery in this area to be as least invasive as possible is in order to preserve any speech patterns and restore function for that individual.

If the dermoid cyst is located in the facial region, the surgeon will perform a procedure most likely with the aid of an endoscopic tool. This way the surgeon will be able to prevent scarring as much as possible by using an endoscopy.

For the more difficult surgeries involving internal portions such as the ovaries and brain, a gynecological surgeon or neurosurgeon, respectively, may be needed in order to perform procedures of this type. These procedures tend to be a bit more risky as they affect sensitive portions of the body.

Whatever surgical option is pursued, the desired result is the same, which is to permanently remove the dermoid cyst. The matter in which a surgeon goes about doing so is what may be different depending upon each individual case. It is important to note that the prognosis is extremely good for those individuals who have their dermoid cysts removed.

Possible Complications from Dermoid Cysts

Certain complications may arise as a result of having a dermoid cyst. Some of these complications include fat dissemination, spinal subdural abscesses, speech problems and possible malignant transformation as a result of a long-term dermoid cyst presence and are all things which one must look into when obtaining all pertinent information on dermoid cysts and dermoid cyst removal. However, these complications may or may not occur and some may occur only in specific areas in which a dermoid cyst is present, i.e. speech problems as a result of having a dermoid cyst in one’s mouth.

Whether Having a Dermoid Cyst Removed is the Proper Decision or Not

One cannot tell another individual who has a dermoid cyst whether or not they should have the cyst removed as it is a personal decision. There are a few things which the individual with the cyst should do prior to deciding to have surgery. The first is to collect information on the particular medical condition to get some useful background information about what the cyst really is as well as other possible treatment options.

Once the individual has read up on the topic of dermoid cysts, it is then time to visit the doctor again (after diagnosis) to discuss the situation a bit further. Now that the individual has read up on what a dermoid cyst really is and possibilities for treatment, he/she can better discuss the issue with the doctor.

After revisiting the doctor to discuss treatment options, the individual may wish to get a second opinion from a different doctor. Although medical information is similar in respects, having another opinion certainly cannot hurt. This is important to do as one may be undergoing surgery which is something which should not be taken lightly. If the second opinion doctor has confirmed what the prior doctor has recommended, it is then time to take action and determine whether surgery will be performed. Again, the decision to undergo surgery is one which should be made by the individual alone.

These are just a few things to consider with regard to dermoid cysts and the causes and treatment options thereof.

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