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Congenital facial cyst / pit

Introduction

Congenital cysts on the face are usually found in front of the ear. These cysts or pits are quite common and are present from birth. Removal of these cysts can necessitate a much more extensive operation that what would have initially been thought as they can be much deeper than first appreciated.

Causes

The cause for congenital cysts in front of the ear is a developmental abnormality of the formation of the ear. Part of the developing ear develops into a cyst which is usually located in front of the ear just above the ear canal.

Symptoms

The majority of people with these congenital cysts have no symptoms and if this is the case then you don’t need to have an operation. However, if you or your child does have symptoms then Dr Robinson will recommend removal of the cyst under general anaesthetic. Common symptoms include:

  • Recurrent infections of the cyst
  • Discharge of smelly material from the cyst
  • Intermittent swelling of the cyst

Treatment

Ideally Dr Robinson will delay treatment of the cyst until your child is over 2 years of age. Sometimes these cysts cannot wait this long and need an operation sooner.

The operation involves a general anaesthetic and removal of the cyst with an appropriate reconstruction of the area where the cyst has been removed.

If you or your child has a cyst in front of their ear which you are concerned about then make an appointment with Dr Robinson to make arrangements to remove it.