Osteomas and Their Treatment

What Is An Osteoma?

An osteoma is a benign growth of bone that appears on another piece of bone, usually within the skull. Osteomas are benign tumors, or overgrowths of bone tissue; their cause is not very well understood, and is thought to be a combination of genetics, trauma, or infectious history. Osteomas can appear on the forehead, within the nasal sinuses, and even in the neck. When within the sinuses, osteomas can cause headaches and sinus problems; when appearing on the skull or forehead, osteomas usually bother patients with their appearance. Osteomas usually appear in young adulthood, are more common in women than men, and are slow-growing.

How Do I Know If I Have An Osteoma?

An osteoma of the skull is usually a firm, bony knot that is fixed and cannot be moved. In fact, some patients lightheartedly describe their osteomas as a horn. External osteomas can appear on the forehead and anywhere along the bony skull. The main symptom of these osteomas is usually a visible bump which some patients want to improve or treat. Unlike external osteomas, osteomas appearing inside the nasal passageways can cause headaches or sinus problems. Osteomas can be seen on X-rays and CT scans; these imaging studies are usually useful for inner osteomas, while small-moderate sized external osteomas can often be treated without imaging.

What Is The Treatment For An Osteoma?

If an osteoma causes symptoms or has an undesirable appearance, it can be surgically removed. Dr. Fishman often removes external osteomas via small incisions hidden in the hair; some osteomas can be removed endoscopically, while others are very amenable to office removal with the use of local anesthesia (injection of numbing medicine) and ProNox (laughing gas).

What Is The Recovery Like After An Osteoma Treatment?

Most patients go back to school or work within 1-2 days after having an osteoma removed. Dr. Fishman usually advises patients to expect a few days-weeks of swelling and tenderness at and around the treatment site. She recommends patients forego strenuous exercise and keep their incisions clean for a few days after treatment. Dr. Fishman also feels that an in-person consultation is a great way to create a personalized treatment plan; if you want to schedule an appointment for your consult, call our office today!