The content on this page has been reviewed by NYC Osteoma Removal Specialist Dr. Maurice Khosh
An osteoma usually appears over a long period of time, resulting in a hard lump that feels similar to bone. These growths are typically found on the forehead or scalp, although they can also form in the sinuses. The good news is that osteomas are benign in nature and there is no risk of the growth becoming cancerous. The part of the lump below the skin is solid and unyielding, whereas the skin itself will move when manipulated.
Most patients develop osteomas between the ages of 20-40. It is also common for patients to develop more than one osteoma. Aesthetics is the greatest concern for most people with osteomas, as pain or discomfort are rare side effects. The definitive cause of these benign growths is not fully understood, with most cases being attributed genetics or trauma.
Osteoma Treatment Options
The location and size of an osteoma are both major considerations when developing treatment options. Minimally invasive surgery is an effective option for many patients, performed under local or general anesthetic. Treatment is carried out in an office or operating room environment depending on the type of surgery needed to remove the growth.
The most common reason for having an osteoma removed is how the growth impacts on appearance. Minimally invasive surgery involves localized freezing that will allow your surgeon to skillfully remove much of the mass. An incision is typically made over the surface of the growth, followed by the shaving down of the mass beneath the skin. To help prevent significant scarring, the incision is closed in a way that promotes better healing.
Part of any procedure to remove osteomas involves disguising the resulting scar. This is achieved by either hiding the scar beneath the hairline or blending the tissue with natural facial expressions. There is some downtime, moderate pain and discomfort associated with healing from osteoma removal procedures. Your plastic surgeon may provide some level of aftercare depending on specific recovery needs.
Osteoma Removal Benefits
When an osteoma is visible, it can impact your self-confidence. Growths that are hidden beneath the hairline can also become bothersome. Knowing that the lump is there is often enough to prompt patients to seek removal. While patients will experience swelling and bruising around the treated area after a surgery, most patients report that downtime is minimal and the procedure is worth pursuing.
After surgery, pain and discomfort requires minimal aftercare. Discomfort is eased with a cold compress and pain medications are recommended to provide post-treatment relief. If patients require a compression dressing, this is typically removed 24 hours after surgery. It is important to avoid getting an osteoma removal incision wet during the period. However, both bathing and showering is safe after the initial 24 hours has passed.
If traditional stitches are used, removal occurs at 7-10 days after treatment. In some cases, absorbable sutures are used and a return visit to the surgeon’s offices is not necessary unless there are aftercare needs. For the vast majority of patients, return to normal activities is possible within one week of surgery.
If you have developed any kind of growth on your forehead or scalp, consult with an experienced cosmetic surgeon. While most growths are benign in nature, it is important to rule out cancerous tumors. An osteoma consultation provides patients with treatment recommendations. This allows patients to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing surgery.
A plastic surgeon that specializes in the removal of growths such as osteomas can identify suitable candidates for treatment. If patients have questions or concerns, these are also typically addressed as part of the consultation process.