Cysts and Tumours

A cyst is a raised sac of fluid that forms in different parts of the body, on the skin and internal organs. Cysts can range in size from a tiny sac to a large, heavy fluid-filled bag, and some cysts contain solid matter. While most cysts form for no apparent reason, some known causes are blocked ducts leading to fluid build-up, aberrant cell function, or an impact injury that ruptures a blood vessel. There are many different types of cysts, and treatment is dependent on the type and location of the cyst. Surgical removal is the most common treatment, along with routine pathology for cancer, although most cysts are benign.

Sebaceous cysts result from a build-up of the skin’s lubricating sebaceous fluid, which accumulates in a pore or hair follicle and forms a hard lump. They are common on the face, back, scalp and scrotum and can be treated with medication, draining by small needle, or surgical removal.

A pilonidal cyst forms in the skin of the lower back, often near the tailbone and contains ingrown hair and skin debris. They can grow in clusters and if they become inflamed, can create an abscess in the skin. Treatment includes draining or surgical removal.

A dermatofibroma is a common, benign fibrous tumour that occurs more often in women. Occurring in the deeper skin layers (dermis), it contains scar-like tissue and mostly develops on the arms and legs. It is usually painless but may become tender if irritated by friction from clothing. While surgical removal is the best treatment, these cysts have a tendency to recur locally.

If any cyst is found to be cancerous, Mr Kode will base treatment on its size, location and whether cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. The cyst will be surgically removed, along with surrounding tissue. Follow-up treatment may include radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

A breast cyst is a fluid-filled sac that occurs when a milk duct becomes blocked in the breast tissue and fluid accumulates. Single or multiple cysts can occur. These are very common, especially in females in aged 30-50 years old.  Although the majority of breast cysts are benign, they may cause tenderness and discomfort, in which case treatment can be sought. This pain is alleviated by draining the fluid from the cyst using Fine Needle Aspiration. This process takes a couple of minutes and cysts usually resolve on their own after this occurs. It is uncommon, but surgery may be recommended for reoccurring cysts.

Our friendly practice team are here to help you. Please contact them for further information or to set up a private consultation with Mr Kode.


A ganglion forms on or around joints and tendons most commonly on the fingers, wrists or ankles. It contains tissue that normally lubricates the joints and tendons. Some cysts cause pain and numbness, which is made worse by joint motion and can limit function. In these cases, surgical removal by excision may be necessary.

These cysts can recur after surgery and are sometimes early signs of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis in which case, Mr Kode may suggest you be evaluated for the condition.

If you have any concerns about cysts, pain or numbness, please contact our team at Launceston Plastic Surgery Unit to make an appointment to see Mr Kode.