Sebaceous cysts

Sebaceous cysts (proper name epidermoid cysts) typically contain a thick, whitish substance composed of degraded keratin, a natural component of the skin.  They are commonly found on the back, neck  and face.  During the removal of sebaceous cysts, they may rupture, breaking into pieces. If every fragment of the cyst is not completely extracted, there’s a possibility of recurrence in the same area. So it is crucial to have these cysts removed by an experienced doctor. 

Pilar cysts

Pilar cysts, also commonly but wrongly called sebaceous cysts are only found on the scalp. They are an inherited problem and often there are other family members with scalp cysts. Unlike sebaceous cysts, which have a tendency to rupture and potentially reoccur if not completely removed, pilar cysts often have thicker walls, making them relatively easier to remove intact.


What is the process of cyst removal at Oxona Healthcare?

Your pre-operative appointment:

Oxona Healthcare offers sebaceous cyst removal in our clinics in Oxford, St Albans and Didcot.  Most patients will need to attend a pre-operative appointment in the first instance. During this appointment, the doctor will: 

  1. Diagnose the cyst and confirm it is benign and safe to be removed. 
  2. Discuss your options and outcome. It is important to consider the outcome of the surgery. All cyst removal results in a scar. 
  3. Run through the risks. All minor surgery comes with its risks, and it is important that you are fully informed on these matters.  This will include a background of your health and any prescribed medications that you take.
  4. Provide an exact price. We never have any hidden costs. The doctor will quote the price using our transparent pricing structure. This price includes all treatment including as many follow-up appointments as required. 

Following this you should choose whether to proceed or not. Our prices quoted are valid for three months from the date of your appointment so there is no pressure to rush the surgery. If you wish to progress to booking the surgery the doctor and our reception team will be on hand to help. 

We can book your wound check and stitch removal appointments at the same time, and these are included in the surgery price quoted. 


The day of your procedure:

On the day of your procedure you will have been given an appointment time. Please ensure you arrive 5 minutes early to avoid any unnecessary stress to yourself.  The doctor will call you from the waiting room.  Please do let us know if you are feeling nervous or worried, we will always have a clinical assistant on hand to support you.  It is very normal to be nervous before this type of procedure. 

  1. The doctor will call you from the waiting room and assess how you are feeling. Please do let us know if you are nervous. We can ensure we put structures and people in place to help you. It is normal to be nervous. 
  2. The doctor will run through the procedure and discuss the consent form which outlines the risks of the minor surgery.  This must be signed before any surgery can take place.
  3. The doctor will ask if any medication has changed since you last spoke – this is quite important.  It is okay to bring the medication with you or a photograph will do. 
  4. When you are ready the doctor will inject a small amount of local anaesthetic under the skin. It can take a few minutes for this to work and they will then test to ensure you cannot feel anything. 
  5. Once you are completely pain free the doctor will proceed with the surgery.  You are welcome to listen to music or watch something on a device; or watch the surgery! Whatever you are most comfortable with. 
  6. Most cyst removals require stitches afterwards. In some cases these can be dissolvable stitches, in other cases you will need to return 7-14 days later for stitch removal. 



How much does it cost?

Our cyst removal prices run in bandings from £485, £595, £705 to £815. Around 90% of the cysts we remove are charged at £485. 

Any additional cysts removed in the same session are charged significant lower prices (from £225 up to £330 per cyst).  Our clinicians will always offer you the most cost effective option using our transparent price list found here

We do have a complex procedure fee. These range from £50 to £150.  We charge these in approximately 10% of cyst removal cases. The basis for this is to cover the additional time required by the doctor for something more complicated. For example, a cyst to be removed on the more risky parts of the neck, or something very obvious on the face where the outcome of the scar will be of the utmost importance.  This fee will always be discussed with you during the pre-operative appointment and full explanation provided as to its requirement. 


Do I need to have a pre-op consultation?

Yes, all patients require a pre-op consultation prior to any surgical treatment. During this appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions, and the doctor will discuss the procedure and outcomes, while also providing an exact costing. The GP may provide different options for surgical treatments, these tend to have different outcomes. You are advised to take your time to consider the available options and best outcomes for you.

Can I claim for my appointment on insurance?

You need to speak to your insurer prior to your appointment. Some insurers will reimburse you for the appointment, but you will need to present any documentation at the time of your appointment for the doctor to sign. Please note that all our doctors are registered with the GMC on the GP register not the consultant register. Please ensure you make this clear to your insurers at the outset.

How can I prevent the development of sebaceous cysts?

Scalp (pilar) cysts are wholly genetic in origin and impossible to prevent.  Preventing epidermoid cysts primarily involves maintaining good skin hygiene and minimizing factors that can lead to blockages of hair follicles. It’s essential to keep your skin clean, avoid excessive oil-based skincare products, and refrain from picking or squeezing existing pimples or blackheads, as these actions can potentially lead to cyst formation. Additionally, protecting your skin from excessive sun exposure can help prevent skin damage and reduce the risk of cysts. 

How it works

From the moment you book your appointment to post-treatment care, we’re here to support you.

  • Booking your appointment
    With Oxona, there’s no need for a referral and you can book your appointment online, over the phone or by email. All appointments require a pre-paid deposit due at the time of booking.
  • Consultation
    Our specialists will give you the time you need to discuss your problem, making sure you are truly heard. Your questions will be answered with understanding and impartial advice, so you feel ready to make an informed decision.
  • Treatment plan
    Our treatment plans are based on you as an individual, rather than off the shelf. Taking into account your symptoms, medical history and any anxieties, we’ll explore all available options and respect your decisions.
  • Aftercare
    Your care doesn’t end after your treatment. Our team are on hand to offer free post-operative support, and to answer any questions about your treatment plan.
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