By Paul T. Finger, MD
The benign eyelid tumor hydrocystoma comes from the Latin hydro, meaning fluid, and cystoma, meaning cyst or sac.
A hydrocystic thickening is an epithelial-lined serous cyst (within the skin or soft tissues). Sometimes it looks like they are translucent.
Hydrocystomas most commonly occur on the eyelids. They typically are the same color as eyelid skin, rounded and soft to the touch. They are slow growing, may cause misdirection but not loss of eyelashes.
Hydrocystoma is a benign tumor that can be photographed and followed for evidence of growth. High-frequency ultrasound can demonstrate that the tumor is filled with fluid and confirm the diagnosis.
Excision is typically performed if growth is documented, basal cell or other eyelid cancer is suspected and for cosmetic reasons. During removal, your surgeon will try and keep the cyst intact. Removing the whole tumor will help keep it from recurring.