What is a cyst?

A cyst is a closed sac or balloon-like structure that is not a normal part of the tissue where it is found.  Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body in persons of any age.  Cysts usually contain a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance.  Cysts vary in size; they may be detectable only under a microscope or they can grow so large that they displace normal organs and tissues.  The outer wall of a cyst is called the capsule.

WebMD. (2005, December 08). Retrieved from