What Are Cyst?

A cyst is a closed sac, having a distinct membrane and division compared to the nearby tissue. Hence, it is a cluster of cells that have grouped together to form a sac (not unlike the manner in which water molecules group together, forming a bubble); however, the distinguishing aspect of a cyst is that the cells forming the “shell” of such a sac are distinctly abnormal (in both appearance and behaviour) when compared to all surrounding cells for that given location. It may contain air, fluids, or semi-solid material. A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, a cyst may sometimes resolve on its own. When a cyst fails to resolve it may need to be removed by surgery but this will depend on what type of cyst it is and where in the body it has formed.

Some cysts are neoplastic and are thus called cystic tumors; many types are not neoplastic. Some are dysplastic or metaplastic. Pseudocysts are similar to cysts (having a sac filled with fluid) but lack an epithelial lining.

Treatment ranges from simple enucleation of the cyst to curettage to resection. There are cysts, e.g., buccal bifurcation cyst with self-resolation nature, in which close observation only can be employed unless the cyst is infected and symptomatic