What is ganglion removal?
A ganglion is a swelling filled with jelly-like fluid, that sticks out from the lining of a joint or tendon. It most often occurs around the wrist or ankle, or at the base of the palm of the hand. Surgery to remove it is needed if the ganglion is painful or when attempts to treat it, including draining the fluid, have not worked.
The operation is usually done under general anaesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. Alternatively, some people have local anaesthesia, which means the affected arm or leg will feel numb, but you will still be awake. Your surgeon will give you advice about which type of anaesthesia is most suitable for you.
The operation to remove a ganglion is routinely performed as a day-case procedure, with no overnight stay. Your surgeon will explain the benefits and risks of having the ganglion removed, and will also discuss the alternatives to the procedure.
About the ganglion cyst removal operation
If you are having the operation under local anaesthesia, your surgeon will usually need to wait at least 20 minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect before starting the operation.
Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, a cut is made over the ganglion. It is removed from the joint or tendon lining without disturbing the surrounding structures. Where a ganglion is tricky to remove, the cut will be larger than the size of the lump. At the end of the operation, the cut is closed with stitches. The operation usually lasts about 30 minutes.
Removing a ganglion is a commonly performed and generally safe operation. For most people, the benefits are greater than the disadvantages. However, all surgery carries an element of risk.
Complications specific to removal of a ganglion are rare. They include excessive swelling, delayed healing and damage to surrounding skin nerves. Occasionally, a ganglion reappears in the same place, but this is not common.
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. Ask your surgeon to explain in more detail how any risks apply to you.
Is ganglion cyst removal available on the NHS?
Ganglion cyst removal is currently being restricted by the NHS in some areas of the UK and waiting lists are becoming significantly longer. For these reasons many people opt for private treatment.
Why should I consider having a ganglion cyst removal operation at a Spire hospital?
Whether you have medical insurance or are paying for your treatment yourself, with Spire Healthcare you will be seen quickly by the consultant-grade doctor of your choice at a time that suits you. You will be treated in a premium private hospital with some of the UK's highest standards of cleanliness and infection control.
To find out more about having a ganglion cyst removed privately or to get a guide price, simply