Ganglion Removal Operation

What is a Ganglion Cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled swelling that usually develops near a joint or tendon. The cyst can range from the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball. Ganglions can occur alongside any joint in the body but are most common on the wrist (particularly the back of the wrist), and the hand and fingers.

What is a Ganglion Removal Operation?

Treatment is usually recommended if the cyst causes pain of affects the range of movement in a joint.

The two main treatments options for a ganglion cyst are;

  1.        Draining the fluid from the cyst with a needle and syringe this is known medically as aspiration.
  2.        Removing the cyst with surgery.

There are two ways surgery can be used to remove a ganglion cyst. The first is open surgery where the surgeon makes a medium sized cut usually about 5cm (2 inches) long, over the site of the affected joint or tendon.

The second type of surgery is arthroscopic which is a type of keyhole surgery where smaller incisions are made and a tiny camera called an arthroscope is used by the surgeon to look inside the joint: using this scope as a guide they can then pass the instruments through the incision to remove the cyst.

These can both be done under either local or general anaesthetic, this choice depends on where the ganglion is, what you would prefer and what the surgeon recommends

Possible Side Effects and Aftercare

You'll usually experience some bruising in the area after your operation, but this should fade quickly.

There's also a small possibility of temporary stiffness, swelling or pain afterwards. This may be caused by a minor infection that can be treated using antibiotics.

Lasting pain or stiffness may need further treatment with physiotherapy.

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