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Ganglion cyst (wrist)

Ganglion cyst surgery

There are usually three general treatment approaches: observation, aspiration and surgical removal. Some patients visit their consultant in order to simply confirm their condition and do not wish to proceed with any further treatment. However, for those who wish to eliminate the cyst, it can either be aspirated or removed through minor surgery.

Ganglion cyst (wrist) surgery

Aspiration can be performed in a treatment room and involves sterilising the area, injecting local anaesthetic for pain control and aspirating the fluid inside the cyst with a small needle and a syringe under ultrasound guidance. Some anti-inflammatory medication (cortisone) can be injected afterwards to alleviate pain and often a period of rest with use of a splint can follow this treatment.

Alternatively, the cyst can be removed via a small incision or arthroscopically (keyhole surgery) as a day-case surgery. While this procedure is slightly more invasive, it seems to lead to lower recurrence rates when compared to aspiration (21% versus 59%). Therefore, treatment option is a shared one to be discussed between you and your consultant.

Surgical treatment methods

  • Ganglion cyst (wrist) surgery