What Happens During Ganglion Cyst Wrist Surgery? cover

What Happens During Ganglion Cyst Wrist Surgery?

Ganglion cyst wrist surgery is one of the treatment options recommended for a ganglion cyst on the wrist. It involves the removal of a ganglion cyst from the wrist or hand. Here’s what to expect from the procedure.

What is a Ganglion Cyst?

A ganglion cyst is a swelling that forms a lump on the hand and may be painful once pressed on. It often develops near a tendon or a joint and varies in size. A ganglion cyst may appear and disappear on its own, sometimes requiring treatment.

In most cases, a ganglion cyst wrist surgery is recommended if there is intense pain or cosmetic concerns and after the failure of non-surgical treatments. Otherwise, most doctors recommend the wait-and-watch approach and close monitoring of a ganglion cyst.

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst Wrist Surgery Options 

There are two ways of performing a ganglion cyst wrist surgery: arthroscopy and open surgery. Both techniques are often effective; however, the choice depends on factors such as the location of the ganglion cyst and your doctor’s recommendation. 

Both techniques are performed under local anaesthetic, so the procedure is performed when you are awake, but you will not feel pain. The only difference is that arthroscopy results in less pain after the procedure. Here’s what happens during each technique used in ganglion cyst wrist surgery. 


This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure involving a small camera inserted through a small cut on the hand. The small camera guides your surgeon to the location of the stalk of the cyst. A stalk is a conduit that fills the ganglion cyst with a jelly-like fluid and connects it to the tendon or joint. Once spotted, the surgeon then cuts the stalk, which prevents further growth and reduces the risk of regrowth of the cyst.

Open Surgery

This technique involves a surgeon creating a medium-sized cut over the affected tendon or joint. The created incision is often larger than the one made in arthroscopy. Once the incision is created, the surgeon removes the cyst and the stalk. 

What Happens During Ganglion Cyst Wrist Surgery?

If your doctor recommends ganglion cyst surgery, the technique used will depend on your individual case. Depending on the method used, the procedure typically involves the following steps:

  1. Your surgeon identifies the location of the ganglion cyst on the wrist.
  2. They will administer local anaesthetic to prepare you for surgery.
  3. Your surgeon then uses one technique to remove the cyst, including the stalk connecting it to the tendon or joint.
  4. The surgeon stitches the wound and places a bandage over the affected area.
  5. You will likely need to wear a sling for a few days to help prevent swelling and discomfort.

A ganglion cyst wrist surgery is a safe and straightforward procedure that helps reduce painful ganglion cysts. If you have a ganglion cyst on your wrist or hand that is causing pain and preventing the free movement of your hand, contact The Harley Clinic team and book a consultation today.

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