What Should I Expect from Ganglion Cyst Removal?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 December 2018
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People who undergo ganglion cyst removal should expect to be slightly sore for 48 hours following surgery. Depending upon the area affected, some people may also experience difficulty while stretching and moving. In almost every instance, ganglion cyst removal is not a complex procedure, and many people are able to leave a hospital or clinic immediately following surgery.

Ganglionic cysts are caused by joint and tendon problems. These cysts can appear within days, and they are filled with a gelatanous substance called synovial fluid. This fluid exists inside of the body in order to lubricate joints, though it can become trapped inside of a cyst. Unlike cancerous cysts, ganglionic cysts are soft to the touch, and they are also easy to manipulate. While ganglion cyst removal used to include hitting the cyst with a Bible, which would cause the cyst to pop, today's methods are slightly more civilized.

The procedure for removing a ganglionic cyst is quite simple. Following a local or regional anesthetic, a long needle that is attached to a syringe is inserted into the cyst. Through suction, a medical professional will remove the fluid that is inside of a cyst. Once the liquid has been drained from the cyst, a corticosteriod medication may be injected into the joint area. Finally, a bandage is placed over the area. A patient may have to remain inside of the operating room for 30 minutes following this procedure.


In some cases, a medical professional may decide to remove the cyst completely. In this case, a slightly more complex surgical procedure is necessary. The excision of a cyst involves the cutting away of the cyst with a scalpel. Once the cyst has been removed, sutures will be placed upon the affected area in order to accelerate the healing process.

Even though ganglion cyst removal does not involve complicated surgery, patients may experience infection. If a cortisone injection has been given to a patient, some people may also experience a reaction to this type of medication. Sometimes, a ganglion cyst may reappear if the cyst was not removed properly. However, side effects of cyst removal are very rare.

It is not a rare occurrence for a ganglionic cyst to disappear on its own. Thus, most people do not seek medical attention for this type of cyst unless the cyst is large and uncomfortable. Constant repetitive motions often cause cysts to grow, which is why some cysts vanish as a result of rest and relaxation.


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Post 4

I have one on my index finger. It's painful when I touch it. I've been to the hospital and am getting it removed in June.

Post 3

@Penzance356 - It's natural to be nervous of this kind of surgical procedure, but I hope you can be reassured by the doctor. It's best to be honest and explain your fears.

For extra peace of mind ask him or her to touch the affected area once the injection has been given. If you can feel anything then, or at any point after, they will stop and work something out to fix the problem.

I've had ganglion cyst treatment twice now, and both times it went smoothly. (I'm a terrible coward who needs a bandaid for a paper cut so that should give you some hope!)

Post 2

I've had a ganglion cyst in the wrist area for several years. Recently I started typing a lot more than befpre and it's really troubling me.

I have been taking painkillers and ignoring it but I am beginning to think I will need to see the doctor and have it drained.

The thing is that I am really nervous of local anesthetics. Do they really block all the pain? I've heard so many horror stories from people about how you can still feel everything.

Post 1

I have fond memories of the day I went to the hospital for the removal of a ganglion cyst on my finger.

It wasn't very big, but as I was told that not getting treatment could lead to a permanent deformity I was advised to deal with it sooner rather than later.

My boyfriend offered to pay for all the cyst removal costs, so long as I had the minor surgery within a week. I was touched by his insistence but it turned out he had an ulterior motive.

When he picked me up afterwards he produced a sparkly engagement ring! It was a wonderful way to celebrate having my finger perfect again.

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