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Ganglion Cyst Removal

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Ganglion cyst removal is surgery to remove a small fluid-filled sac that usually occurs in the hand, wrist, foot, or ankle.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Seek care immediately if:

  • You cannot move your arm, hand, leg, or foot.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.

Call your surgeon if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have numbness or tingling in your arm, hand, leg, or foot.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for the surgery area as directed:

  • Keep the area clean and dry. Ask your surgeon when you can bathe.
  • Check for signs of infection, such as redness or swelling.
  • Place ice on your wound for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover the bag with a towel before you place it on your skin. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

Self-care:

  • Ask about activities. You may be able to do light activities and light lifting. Ask your surgeon when you can return to work or other daily activities.
  • Go to hand therapy, if needed. A hand therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
  • Wear a splint as directed to support and protect the joint that has the cyst. This will limit movement and help your cyst get smaller.

Follow up with your surgeon as directed:

You may need to return to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.