Cysts

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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What types of doctors treat cysts?

The type of doctor that treat cysts depend on the underlying cause of the cyst and the symptoms, if any, that are produced by the cyst. Usually a primary-care doctor is the first one who should be consulted when you notice a cyst. For example, a small epidermoid cyst that causes no symptoms would not require treatment. However, a large cyst in the abdomen displacing internal organs would require a surgeon to remove it. Consequently, many different physician specialists may be involved (OB/GYN, surgeon, orthopedic, gastroenterologist, ENT, dermatologist, infectious disease, or oncologist, for example) depending on the cyst's size, location, composition, and underlying cause.

How do physicians diagnose a cyst?

Some cysts are easily palpated by the doctor, especially if the cysts are located in the skin or in organs that are readily palpable, like the thyroid gland. Imaging studies such as ultrasound, X-ray, CAT scans, and MRIs are very useful in finding cysts. In addition, needle biopsies are sometimes used to determine if malignant tissue is associated with a cyst-like structure. In addition, needle biopsy may be used to reduce the size of the cyst.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/19/2016

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