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Ganglion cyst removal, also called ganglionectomy, is a surgical procedure to remove a cyst from your hand, wrist, foot, ankle, or other parts of your body.
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled noncancerous lump that commonly develops along the joints or tendons of your hands or wrists. In some cases, they may also occur in the feet and ankles. Ganglion cysts are often painless and require no treatment. However, depending on its location and its size, it can restrict movement. It can also be painful, especially when it presses on a nerve, vital organ, artery, or vein.
When a ganglion cyst is causing severe pain, pressing against other structures, or restricting your movements, your doctor may recommend you undergo surgical removal. Ganglion cyst removal may also be performed for cosmetic reasons if the cyst is located in a highly visible area, even though it does not cause any symptoms.
After surgery, you may experience some discomfort, tenderness, and swelling. Depending on the type of work you do, you may be able to go back to work within 1 or 2 days following your surgery. However, for 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, you will need to avoid activities that involve repeated hand movements, such as typing, using a computer mouse, carrying things in the affected hands, or vacuuming if the surgery is done on your hand or wrist. You should also avoid activities that make your hand vibrate, such as using power tools. If the surgery is done in your ankle or foot, you need to do less walking.
The total recovery time can take around 2 to 6 weeks until you can go back to your full normal routine.
Surgery is considered as the most effective technique to treat ganglion cyst. However, the ganglion cyst can still reoccur even after surgery. A study found a 29.7% recurrence rate in a sample of 52 people.
As with any surgical procedure, ganglion cyst removal have some possible risks and complications. These include:
Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
Sensitivity around scar tissue
Losing the ability to move your wrist normally
Injuries to surrounding ligaments, tendons, or nerves.