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Why has the skin at the site of sebaceous cyst surgery thickened?

Q: A year back, my sister developed a small cyst in her upper right chest near the armpit. The doctors diagnosed it as sebaceous cyst and removed it by operation. Now the skin at the stitch area is thick like a fold. We approached the surgeon and a dermatologist, who asked us to go for some injections and another operation to remove the thickened skin. They say that the success rate is very less because it depends on the nature of the skin. She has developed pain along the stitch line and is presently prescribed Tenobate and Becozym-c fort Will she develop the cyst again? She has a small sebaceous cyst in her head also. Can the skin thickening in the operated area, be removed by ointments and tablets? What will be the success rate if we go for an operation again?

A:There is nothing unusual in skin thickening and unevenness after an operation, particularly around the region of the armpit. However, pain is truly unusual. It is difficult to give you advice without knowing how much time has passed, and without looking at the appearance of the lesion. If the operation is less than 3 months old, it may be best to wait a bit. If more than 9 months have passed, and the pain is significant, she may be developing some local complication in the skin or in the underlying nerves. This is never serious, but can be troublesome. Before undergoing reoperation you should consult a senior surgeon in a good hospital. I do not know if the problem will disappear with ointments, but it may well disappear if given enough time. Sebaceous cysts do not recur after operation, unless some part of the cyst is left behind. This may occur if the cyst was infected at the time of surgery.

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