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Ganglion Cyst Removal


Ganglion cyst removal is surgery to remove a small fluid-filled sac that usually occurs in the hand, wrist, foot, or ankle. In some cases, it can occur in other parts of the body.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Healthcare providers may give you anesthesia through your IV. You may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • A nerve block is a shot of anesthetic medicine that is given close to a nerve. It helps block pain in deeper areas of your body, such as your joint.

During your surgery:

The cyst can be removed through an open procedure or through a scope. A cuff called a tourniquet may be put around your upper arm or leg to decrease bleeding during the surgery. Your healthcare provider will make 1 or more incisions near the cyst. He will use small tools to remove the cyst. He may use an endoscope (scope with a monitor) to help see the cyst. Your incision may be closed with stitches or left open so it can drain. Your incision will be covered with a bandage. Your healthcare provider will then remove the tourniquet.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you may be allowed to go home. If you need to stay in the hospital, you will be taken to your room. If a drain is placed during your surgery, it will be removed before you go home.


Your ganglion cyst may come back after treatment. Your scar could be painful. You may get an infection after surgery. You may have damage to your nerves or tendons that could lead to numbness or weakness. You could have too much bleeding from damage to your blood vessels. Without surgery, your symptoms may get worse.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.