A nervous patient takes a cigarette break in the middle of surgery as Dr Sandra Lee uses a spoon to scoop out ‘crème brûlée’ cyst contents on Dr Pimple Popper.
In tonight’s episode of the show, which airs on TLC, Marty, 51, from Texas, explains how he has had a considerable growth – the size of a softball – stuck on his shoulder for over 30 years.
‘My bump is soft in the middle and it’s hard around the outside and it’s tender to the touch,’ he reveals. ‘It’s about the size of half a softball glued onto your shoulder.’
Round, red and painful, Marty compares the lump to feeling like sunburn, and says that it’s grown so large in size that it even causes his hand to fall asleep.
‘About 30 years ago, I first noticed a bump, I had no idea what it was. 12 years ago, the bump started getting a lot bigger, and it’s just steadily kept growing,’ he explains.
Marty, 51, from the US, has had a considerable growth – the size of a softball – stuck on his shoulder for over 30 years (pictured)
The nervous patient takes a cigarette break in the middle of surgery as Dr Sandra Lee uses a spoon to scoop out ‘crème brûlée’ cyst contents on tonight’s episode of TLC’s Dr Pimple Popper (pictured)
Round, red and painful, Marty compares the lump (pictured) to feeling like sunburn, and says that it’s grown so large in size that it even causes his hand to fall asleep
‘About 10 years ago, it did burst. I was amazed at how much come out of it, it looked like cottage cheese. It didn’t smell or anything, but it didn’t look too good.’
After seeking medical attention on a number of occasions, Marty admits that he has lost faith in doctors.
‘I’ve seen a doctor three times over, they just take a knife and just put a little bitty cut down below it. They got not even a third of what I got out of it,’ he says.
‘It was back within a week. I’ve lost hope in the doctors trying to do anything, and I’ve thought about just taking care of it myself.’
With his bump more or less ready to pop, and with encouragement from his loving sister, Marty decides to finally do something about his giant 30-year-old shoulder bump.
‘I know it’s fixing to burst pretty soon, and I hope Dr Lee can fix it before it does,’ he says.
After seeking medical attention on a number of occasions, Marty admits that he has lost faith in doctors. Pictured, with the growth
Just days before he was due to travel to see Dr Sandra Lee, disaster struck when Marty’s lump popped (pictured)
Hoping to make a change, Marty makes the journey from Texas to California to see Dr Sandra Lee to see if he can have his lump removed once and for all.
But just days before he was due to travel, disaster struck when Marty’s lump popped.
‘About five days ago I woke up and it was starting to leak,’ he explains. ‘When I moved my arm just right it made a popping noise and it blew a half a dollar size hole in my arm!’
WHAT IS AN EPIDERMOID CYST?
Epidermoid cysts are small, hard lumps that develop beneath the skin.
They do not cause other symptoms and are very rarely cancerous.
Epidermoid cysts are often found on the face, head, neck, back and genitals.
They range from 0.25-to-2 inches across and look like small bumps with a tan, yellow colour.
Such cysts are filled with thick, smelly matter.
Epidermoid cysts are usually caused by a build up of the protein keratin, which occurs naturally in skin cells.
Cysts develop when this protein is trapped due to skin or hair follicle disruption, which may occur as a result of infections, acne or excessive sun exposure.
Most epidermoid cysts heal without intervention.
Treatment may be required if the cyst is red, swollen, painful, infected or changes in size.
Such cysts may require antibiotics and drainage. Surgical removal may be necessary in some cases.
Squeezing cysts can lead to infection and should therefore be avoided.
There is also the possibility that they may grow back.
Sitting down with her patient, Dr Lee gets to grips with Marty’s story.
‘This is probably an epidermoid cyst,’ the expert says, breaking down her diagnosis. ‘Sometimes they get so big that maybe the skin on the surface breaks down, and if it’s real close to the edge it could burst through.’
However, Dr Lee has some more pressing concerns, and is quick to note that she will not be able to remove the lump if there is any sign of infection.
‘Whenever I find out that a cyst has exploded right before I’m going to see them, it’s a little concerning,’ she explains.
‘I don’t know what to expect now, is this something I can even remove? If there is inflammation and it’s angry, I cannot do anything at all.’
Checking the lump out herself, Dr Lee checks for signs of infection.
Pealing back Marty’s bandage, the professional sets her eyes on a gaping hole in his arm, with some of the gooey cyst contents still seeping through.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look infected, and Dr Lee is happy to carry out the procedure and remove the lump, much to Marty’s relief.
‘I figure it would be better for you to do it than for me to do it,’ he says. ‘I hope she can get it fixed pretty quick.’
With Marty sat down in her operating chair, Dr Lee gets to work. While it’s good that Marty’s lump isn’t infected, it is in less than ideal condition.
‘The bad news is that this is a really big mess,’ she says. ‘I can imagine that some of this has liquified so I can’t even find the edges. This looks like a lot of work.’
Wasting no time, Dr Lee numbs the area and cuts into the open wound, preparing it for extraction.
Despite remaining quiet, it’s clear just how nervous Marty is, as he fidgets constantly. As she makes her way to the cyst contents, the problems keep piling up for Dr Lee.
‘Marty’s cyst is partially thickened, partially liquified,’ she says. ‘It’s almost like cartilage in some areas.’
Thinking outside the box to tackle Marty’s troublesome cyst head on, Dr Lee asks her assistant to fetch her a sterilised spoon so she can scoop out the sticky cyst contents.
Becoming increasingly agitated, Marty starts to fidget even more, endangering the operation.
Seeing that Marty (pictured) is struggling, Dr Lee asks him if he wants to take a break and sneak off for a cigarette to calm down
‘What makes this even worse is the fact that Marty cannot sit still,’ she says. ‘If Marty doesn’t calm down, I don’t know how I’m going to finish this procedure.’
Before too long, Marty speaks up and jokes: ‘A cigarette and about half a bottle of tequila would be alright.’
Seeing that Marty is struggling, Dr Lee asks him if he wants to take a break and sneak off for a cigarette to calm down.
‘I’ve never given anyone a cigarette break before in the middle of a procedure, but Marty can’t sit still,’ Dr Lee says.
Walking out of the surgery with a temporary bandage on, Marty calls his mother for some words of encouragement and has his cigarette, calming his nerves.
While Marty is out of the room, Dr Lee’s assistant share her thoughts on what the contents of Marty’s reminds her of.
‘It kind of looked like Crème Brûlée when you were scooping it out with a spoon,’ she says.
Returning from his cigarette break, Marty is noticeably more relaxed, and ready to get back in the chair.
‘Marty seems a lot more relaxed already, so hopefully I can get to work and really efficiently remove the rest of the cyst ASAP!’ Dr Lee says.
And with Marty finally sitting still, the expert does just that before stitching him up after a really tricky procedure.
Leaving the clinic, Marty looks and feels like a new, more confident man, and says: ‘I’ve had that thing for 30 years, it’s kind of sore right now but I’m looking forward to getting out and around people again!’
Dr Pimple Popper airs at 10pm on Thursdays exclusively on TLC, and stream on discovery+