Hi. My 9-year-old daughter has what the plastic surgeon called a ‘sebaceous cyst’ on her left eyebrow (actually sort of in her eyebrow). It started out very small about six months ago and has become so large it distorts her eyebrow hair. He is supposed to remove it on April 5. My question is that she is terribly afraid of scarring: the doc said it won’t happen bc he’ll excise it directly in the eyebrow line. Do all of these cysts HAVE to be removed surgically? Is there any other way to remove them?

Block Quote

When I was in residency training I saw a middle aged bus driver who had a sebaceous cyst on her buttock. It bothered her while she worked, sitting on her bus driver seat. I apologize if this is too graphic, but she finally came to see me when it was the size of a big orange with a foul smelling infection on top of it. When I asked her why she waited so long, she said she didn’t want surgery so she prayed for it to go away.

My point is, sebaceous cysts have the tendency to become infected and when they do, it does create a minor surgical problem, so the issue is: should they be removed? It might be in your daugther’s interest because the alternative will be, as you put it, a “distorted eyebrow” which could become a focus issues for her in her teenage years. All surgical procedures have risks. All surgical procedures will leave a scar and the eyebrow in particular may lose eyebrow hair that will not grow back. But as you have been informed by the plastic surgeon, he/she should take great care to leave a minimal scar in the most inconscpicuous place (along the eyebrow line to hide the scar).