Ganglion Cyst Removal (Ganglionectomy)

This outpatient procedure removes a ganglion cyst, a fluid-filled sac that forms as a herniation from a joint capsule, ligament, or tendon sheath. Ganglion cysts commonly develop at the wrist.

What You Need To Know About Ganglion Cyst Removal

What is Ganglion Cyst Removal?

Ganglion cyst removal — sometimes called ganglionectomy — involves the surgical removal of a ganglion cyst. These cysts appear as balloon-shaped capsules with slender stalks that attach to herniated joint capsules, tendon sheaths, and other muscle and bone connectors. Commonly, these cysts appear on your hands, foot, wrists, ankles, or other parts of your body. In some cases, ganglion cysts can press on nerves and cause extreme pain that restricts movement.

When cysts are causing chronic pain that interferes with your life, you can have them removed surgically. During this surgery, your surgeon will remove the cyst capsule and stalk from your body.

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Why is a Ganglion Cyst Removal Procedure Performed?

Ganglions cysts are noncancerous skin formations. The cyst capsule can change sizes during your day as it regularly swells and drains with fluid. While these cysts are usually painless, activity may aggravate them.

When a ganglion cyst presses on your nerves, organs, arteries, or veins, it can cause severe pain. Additionally, ganglion cysts can restrict joint movement. Some patients may want to remove the cyst because it is increasing in density and affecting their appearance.

Ganglion cyst removal will restore their mobility and stop their pain. Depending on your cyst's size and location, you may be able to remove it without surgery. But when traditional methods do not produce optimal results, surgical removal can provide relief.

How to Prepare for a Ganglion Cyst Removal Procedure

Before recommending removal, your physician will conduct a thorough physical assessment to determine the best course of action for your condition. Your physical assessment may involve the use of diagnostic screening technology.

During your surgical consultation, tell your doctor about any allergies or sensitivities you have. Make sure to disclose all medication, vitamins, and daily supplements you are taking. These can compromise your surgery, so it's essential to keep an open dialogue about your lifestyle elements. These details will help your doctor prepare your pre-treatment plan.

Before your procedure, you will need to make arrangements for transportation and care after your procedure. Ensure you follow your doctor's pre-treatment plan and avoid any off-limits activities leading up to your procedure.

What Happens During Ganglion Cyst Removal Surgery?

We customize every treatment to our patient's needs. Not every ganglion cyst removal procedure is the same. However, the general workflow of cyst removal involves:

  • Receiving an anesthetic that puts you in a painless slumber.

  • Creating incisions near the cyst — this can range from one to multiple.

  • Next, your surgeon removes the cyst with specialized tools. They may also use an endoscope to observe the procedure. Together these tools are used to trim and remove the stalk and bulb of the cyst.

  • Once your surgeon has removed the cyst, the incision is closed and covered with a bandage.

After your procedure, you will recover from the medication on our premises. Once you regain consciousness, you can leave with someone you have independently arranged to monitor your at-home recovery.

Are There Risks Associated with Ganglion Cyst Removal Surgery?

Every surgery has a fair amount of inherent risk. That said, ganglion cyst removal is a relatively safe outpatient procedure.

Complications may arise from an allergic reaction to the anesthetic, injuries to the surrounding tendons, loss of movement, infection, blood vessel damage, or nerve impairment.

A small fraction of patients may experience a recurrence of their ganglion cyst after removal.

Post Ganglion Cyst Removal Surgery and Recovery

After your surgery, limit movement of the affected area and rest your body. Limiting movement will promote healing throughout your body. These steps will help you avoid irritation and maximize the effectiveness of your procedure. Be careful of the incision site and regularly re-apply bandages.

Some patients experience pain after their surgery. You can use over the counter painkillers like Advil, Aleve, or Tylenol to remedy healing-related discomfort. Using ice can help reduce swelling and promote quicker healing time.

Keep movement to minimal non-repetitive activity. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy options to help you during your recovery. Once your doctor clears you, you may resume the regular use of the affected area.

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