Proper treatment of Ganglion Cysts

Do not under any circumstances pop or burst a ganglion cyst. The fluid-buildup in the cyst will leak into the surrounding tissue and may cause infections. It is best to wait for the cyst to burst by itself or to seek treatment from professionals.

Dr. Leonard Gordon, MD and Dr. Joshua Gordon, MD have years of experience treating ganglion cysts and you can rely on them for help.

How are ganglion cysts diagnosed?

At the Hand and Microsurgery Medical Group, Dr. Joshua Gordon, MD and Dr. Leonard Gordon, MD will first check if the lump on your wrist is a ganglion cyst or another condition. First the doctor will analyze the appearance and texture of the lump. If the lump feels tender when touched, the chances of it being a ganglion cyst are very high. A light test may also be administered, where the doctor shines a pen light on the cyst, to check for the presence of liquid.

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The doctors may also ask for an X-ray, to confirm if the lump is a ganglion cyst or if it is a precursor to more serious conditions like arthritis or bone tumors. But once your diagnosis is confirmed, the doctors will start to plan your treatment.

Ganglion cyst surgical procedure

Sometimes ganglion cysts go away without any medical intervention. Other times, non-surgical treatments help reduce the size of the cysts. But if non-surgical treatments do not help, then the doctors may suggest surgery to remove the cyst entirely.

The Ganglion Cyst Removal surgery is an outpatient procedure and takes a few hours to complete. It is done under general anesthesia and you can go home after the surgery. Be sure to arrange for your transport, as you will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery.

Before the surgery, during the consultation, the doctors will mark the area of the wrist where the incision is to be made. On the day of the surgery, your surgeon will put you under anesthesia and make an incision on the designated area. He will then identify the location of the cyst and surgically cut it out, from the stalk. Next, he will clean the tissues surrounding the cyst site and then close the incision using medical-grade stitches.

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Right after the surgery, you may experience pain and tenderness around the surgical area. Your scar may also be sensitive to pain for a few days. The stitches will be removed in 1-2 days.

It is advised that you don’t lift anything or indulge in any activities that may require extensive hand use. Although ganglion cyst removal is a very low risk procedure, recovery takes a few weeks and you need to give your hand as much rest as possible, to ensure complete healing.

Infection is very rare after this procedure. The doctors will prescribe antibiotics if by chance any tissue becomes infected. But a good way to avoid any infection is to regularly change your hand’s dressing, when the scar is still healing.

Once the scar has dried and the scab has fallen-off, apply large amounts of moisturizer on the area and massage your hand gently for 5 minutes, at least twice a day. This helps stimulate blood flow into the tissues of your hand. The doctors will prescribe easy hand and finger exercises for you to do, to improve hand movement, flexibility and stability. The typical recovery period for ganglion cyst surgery is 6 weeks.

Can ganglion cysts recur?

Yes, they can. Studies show that 29% of patients do have a recurrence of ganglion cysts in their lifetimes. Some have a recurrence within 1 year of having the surgery, while others may get the cyst, years after the treatment. But for most people, ganglion cysts do not recur once they are removed. Doctors have observed that recurrence is also a one-time concern, as the second ganglion cyst removal surgery usually permanently prevents the recurrence of cysts.

If you do experience a recurrence of ganglion cysts, feel free to contact us immediately. We want to ensure you are taken care of and your way of life continues unimpaired.

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