Ganglion Cyst Removal London specialists, our skillful team of surgeons, use modern procedures to carefully excise your unwanted cysts, abolishing any pain and discomfort. Only at our London clinic.

What is a Ganglion?

A ganglion cyst is a synovial-filled lump typically developing around a joint or tendon. The size of the cyst can vary and may depend on how long it has been growing. The majority of cysts form on the wrist. However, cysts can appear on your hands, ankles, fingers, or feet. Ganglion cysts are not cancerous but can occasionally be painful and may limit your range of motion. 

What happens during a Ganglion Removal Surgery?

With surgery, there are three popular types of ganglion cyst treatments.

The first option is open surgery (Pulse Light Clinics’ chosen surgery method). To start with, your surgeon will make a medium-sized cut, usually about 5cm long, over the affected joint or tendon site. Your surgeon will then excise the cyst and a small amount of surrounding skin. 

The second option is an arthroscopy, commonly known as keyhole surgery. During this procedure, your surgeon makes more minor cuts and inserts a tiny camera known as an arthroscope so they can look inside your joint, allowing them to precisely make an internal incision across the cyst and excise it along with its root.

Open surgery may leave a more extensive scar when compared to arthroscopy. However, the waiting times for arthroscopy can be longer. Both surgeries use a local anaesthetic, so you will not feel any pain during the operation. 

Should you choose to have a non-surgical procedure, cryotherapy is used to eliminate your ganglion. Usually applied using a spray gun, liquid nitrogen is administered to your ganglion, freezing it. After one to two minutes, your affected skin should return from a pale white colour to its normal pigmentation as it thaws out. Your surgeon may repeat this process if the lesion is large enough.

In the next few days, a scab will form. This scab should take one to two weeks to fall off, leaving the treated area looking relatively normal. A full recovery is common after some time. However, some minor scarring or colour loss can appear. Depending on the nature of your ganglion, more than one cryotherapy treatment may be necessary for the surgeon to remove all visible lesions from your skin.

What are the Benefits of Open Ganglion Cyst Surgery?

Both types of surgery are incredibly effective at removing cysts and significantly reducing the chances of the cyst returning compared to non-surgical means. 

However, open surgery is a possible treatment for some cysts, which arthroscopy might not be. For example, cysts are more significant in size, challenging locations, or have undefined margins.

In addition, open surgery can have a lower recurrence than arthroscopy. This lower recurrence is uniquely due to the excision of slightly larger margins and visual confirmation.

What is the Recovery like after Ganglion Cyst Removal (Excision)?

Though cyst surgeries are outpatient visits, your discharge will be on the same day. 

After surgery, your surgeon will stitch up your wound and cover it using a bandage to prevent infection and potentially sling it to protect it from being accidentally bumped. Your downtime will usually take two to six weeks, after which you can return to work. 

The time until you can return to work will depend on how fast you recover, your cyst location, and your occupation, as labour-intensive jobs may require you to take more time out of work. You will discuss recovery times with your surgeon during your consultation. You can also schedule follow-ups to monitor your recovery. 

Though ganglion cyst pain is uncommon, your surgeon will provide medication to ease your swelling, pain, and stiffness. You must contact your surgeon if any of your pain or stiffness persists after medication. 

Severe cases of cyst surgery may require you to undergo physical therapy to recover fully. We advise you regularly move your fingers or toes to help with fluid draining and mobility.

What is the Recovery like after Ganglion Cyst Removal (Cryotherapy)?

Your doctor will provide advice on how to care for your wound while it is healing and may suggest using vaseline, patting the wound dry if it becomes wet and advising you to refrain from picking the scab, all to reduce the chances of any scarring.

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Ganglion Surgery FAQs

What is the success rate of Ganglion cyst surgery?

The success rate of cyst surgeries is over 90%

Is Ganglion surgery painful?

As you will be subject to an anaesthetic you will not feel any pain during the surgery.

Is Ganglion surgery outpatient?

Including Pulse Light Clinic, the majority of ganglion surgeries are outpatient visits.

Are Ganglions dangerous?

Ganglions are rarely dangerous as they are benign masses, meaning they cannot spread to other parts of your body. They are also not cancerous.

Is cyst treatment worth it?

Surgically removing ganglion is typically very successful. However, it is highly likely to make a resurgence if the patient asks for non-surgical means like aspiration as treatment.

What is Ganglion cyst wrist removal like?

Surgical procedures are the most effective ways to remove cysts as they are unlikely to come back following a surgical procedure (10% chance of reoccurring). Unlike non-surgical removal using steroids, where the cases of the cyst reappearing remain at 20%

What happens if a Ganglion cyst pops internally?

If a cyst bursts internally, the affected area might be sore and swollen for a few days as a fluid slowly spreads beneath the skin and is absorbed into the bloodstream.

How long does a Ganglion cyst surgery take?

Cyst surgery typically takes between 20 to 45 minutes, depending on your surgeon and your type of surgery.

Is a Ganglion cyst bad?

As cysts are not cancerous, they are usually relatively harmless. Ganglions can, however, cause pain and reduce the range of motion around the site area.

How much does Ganglion cyst removal cost?

The price for a ganglion cyst surgery ranges between 2000-3000GBP.

Which doctor is best for treating a Ganglion cyst?

Like our surgeons, any registered surgeon with the GMC (General medical council) is allowed to practice surgery.

What causes a Ganglion cyst to develop?

Though the exact causes of ganglia are unknown, we know ganglions typically emerge from a joint or tendon. They commonly appear as a lump on hands, wrists, or fingers. Also, ganglions are more likely to develop in women. Or when the tissue surrounding a joint or tendon is bulged out of place.

What are the symptoms of Ganglions?

The most common symptoms of ganglions are an immovable mass trapped underneath the skin that changes size, sudden swelling on and around the ganglion, potential for discomfort, pain, or even limiting the range of motion.

What does a cyst look like?

Synovial Cysts typically appear as a jelly-like lump on wrists, hands, or feet, but they can occasionally form as a hard lump on finger joints under the skin.

What is aftercare like for ganglion removal surgery?

Aftercare is included in your treatment package, meaning follow-up appointments are common to track your recovery. Our surgeons can treat any immediate complications with no additional charge. In other words, surgery is simply the most reliable treatment if you are looking for a permanent solution.

What are the side effects of ganglion removal through open surgery?

The main side effects unique to ganglion cyst removal using open surgery are permanent stillness and pain after the surgery. Fortunately, the chances of acquiring these symptoms are incredibly meagre and seldom severe, as ganglion cyst removal is a minor procedure.

Some more side effects widespread across excision surgeries, including ganglion cyst removal, are infection, bleeding/bruising, scarring, anaesthetic reaction and nerve damage.

Fortunately, infection is an unlikely symptom of cyst removal. However, if you are susceptible to infections or have a weakened immune system, you should raise your concerns with your physician as you may need additional care.

Bleeding and bruising are pervasive but typically minor side effects of ganglion cyst removal. If your wound opens after surgery but fails to close, you should contact your physician for medical help.

In some cases, ganglion cyst removal may cause damage to a nerve. A damaged nerve may result in numbness for several weeks or months but often make a full recovery. In sporadic cases, a nerve may be compromised after a ganglion removal, causing mobility issues in the area around the wound.

Scarring is common in any surgical procedure. Though there are measures to avoid or minimise scarring during and after your surgery, some scarring is unavoidable for ganglion removal. In addition, the amount of scarring will depend on the skill of your surgeon. Thankfully, our expert surgeons' focal point is to keep scarring to a minimum.

Reactions are certainly the most dangerous of all immediate side effects with surgical procedures in general. The symptoms following a reaction vary between patients but include a rash, hives, severe itchiness, swelling, drop in blood pressure, shortness of breath, coughing, etc. Fortunately, reacting to anaesthesia is extremely rare and largely preventable.

Our Experts

Why Choose Pulse Light Clinic

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The Benefits Of Ganglion Surgery:

Minimally invasive

Little to no scarring

Fast recovery and same day discharges

Delivered in London, UK

More than 20 years experience in laser and IPL Technology

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