Excision of an epidermal inclusion cyst: Correction of a long-term complication of female genital circumcision

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Abstract

Epidermal inclusion cysts are a late complication of female genital circumcision, which is a practice that affects 125 million women primarily from Africa and the Middle East. A 30-year-old woman, gravida 4, para 1, presented to our clinic with an 8-year history of a slowly enlarging periclitoral mass. The patient had undergone female genital circumcision at the age of 5 years. We describe and video-illustrate the surgical technique of excising the 8-cm epidermal inclusion cyst. Using this technique, the entire cyst was resected intact, excess vulvar skin removed, and defect repaired. Postoperatively, she had minimal pain, no dyspareunia, and good cosmesis. Restoration of anatomy for this late complication of female genital circumcision is achievable with knowledge of anatomy, adherence to basic surgical principles that include tension-free closure, and close postoperative follow up.

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