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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.


The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need imaging tests such as an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to check the size and location of the ganglion cyst.

The night before your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

You may be awake during the surgery or your healthcare provider may use medicine to keep you asleep. 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.


  • You cannot make it to your surgery.
  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • The problems for which you are having the surgery get worse.


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.

Care Agreement

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 caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

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