This page will give you information about Ganglion removal surgery. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

What is a Ganglion?

A ganglion is a lump under your skin that contains fluid.

Most ganglions form near the wrist (see figure 1). They are also found on your ankle and foot. The fluid in the ganglion comes from a joint or tendon through a narrow channel.

Figure 1 - Wrist ganglion

What are the Benefits of Surgery?

A ganglion will often settle after a year or two. If your ganglion is not causing much trouble it is best to leave it alone.

The fluid can be taken out of the ganglion using a needle. This improves any discomfort for a while. Your doctor may also inject the ganglion with a steroid (cortisone). These treatments may help for a short time.

The Procedure

Are There Any Alternatives to Ganglion Surgery?

A ganglion will often settle after a year or two. If your ganglion is not causing much trouble it is best to leave it alone.

The fluid can be taken out of the ganglion using a needle. This improves any discomfort for a while. Your doctor may also inject the ganglion with a steroid (cortisone). These treatments may help for a short time.

What Does the Ganglion Operation Involve?

Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Your surgeon will make a cut over the ganglion and separate the ganglion from the nearby tendons, nerves and blood vessels. They will remove the ganglion.

What Complications Can Happen?

General Complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring

Specific Complications

  • Damage to an artery
  • Damage to small nerves
  • Continued aching where the ganglion was
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of your limb (complex regional pain syndrome)

Following Surgery

You should be able to go home the same day.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

The joint where the ganglion was can continue to ache but any joint stiffness should settle quickly.

Some ganglions come back after a few months or years.

Summary

A ganglion is not serious. If it is causing trouble, your surgeon can remove it.

If you would like to receive more information on Ganglion Removal Surgery at New Victoria Hospital, please call us on 020 8949 9020 or:

Book an appointment

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Stephen Milner DM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Medical-Artist.com

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by New Victoria Hospital from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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Consultants and Clinic Times

Miss Fiona Middleton

MBBS MA (Oxon) FRCS (Tr & Orth)
Specialities
Orthopaedics, Hand & Wrist Surgery
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Mr Pal. Ramesh

MBBS MCh(Orth) FRCS(Glasg.) FRCS(Orth)
Specialities
Orthopaedics, Foot & Ankle Surgery
Profile and clinic times
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