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What are the Different Methods of Ganglion Removal?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are two different types of ganglion removal: aspiration and excision. Both types of ganglion removal are relatively safe, and very few complications arise from either method. Each of these two removal methods can be performed within a doctor's office, and both procedures only last for a short amount of time.

When aspiration is chosen as, a large needle attached to a syringe is inserted into the cyst. By extracting the fluid that is inside of the cyst, the cyst is temporarily removed. This ganglion removal process takes approximately thirty minutes to complete. Patients who undergo an aspiration procedure often leave a doctor's office with a small bandage, though this procedure is relatively painless.

Excision of a cyst is slightly more complex than an aspiration procedure. Large cysts must be removed through the excision method. This procedure also takes place within a doctor's office, though a local or regional anesthetic is used. After determining the exact size and shape of a cyst, a doctor will attempt to remove the cyst with a scalpel. Once the cyst has been removed, sutures are then applied to the incision. Patients must remain within a doctor's office for up to thirty minutes following an excision procedure.

After either ganglion removal procedure, patients should avoid any kind of strenuous physical activity for up to forty-eight hours. Additionally, any kind of repetitive motion should be avoided. Patients who have undergone excision surgery may find it difficult to move the affected area for one to two weeks. In either case, a follow-up doctor's appointment should be made in order to ensure proper healing.

People who have recurring cysts following repeated aspiration attempts may want to consider excision. If a cyst has not been entirely removed during aspiration, it can reappear. While a cyst is not dangerous to one's health, this type of growth can be bothersome. Cysts largely occur due to joint trauma or tissue deterioration, though the precise cause of a ganglion cyst is unknown.

While excision is the most effective type of ganglion removal, aspiration is the method chosen by most people. In either case, it is not necessary to remove a ganglion cyst unless the cyst becomes painful or extremely unsightly. Even though all ganglion cysts are benign, any large skin formation should be thoroughly examined by a medical professional.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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