A ganglion cyst is a swelling that normally appears around joints and tendons in the hand or foot. It is most commonly seen around the wrist and on the fingers. The size of this cyst can vary over a period of time. The etiology of this cyst is not known, and they are generally seen to be idiopathic. These cysts contain clear fluid. Almost one-third to half the cysts disappear without the need for any treatment. However, in some cases, there is need for some or the other kind of minor surgical intervention. Given below are the various treatment options when it comes to ganglion cyst removal.
Ganglion Cyst Surgery Options
Aspiration can be done with the help of a needle, which may be either an 18 gauge needle, or a 21 gauge needle. This needle is attached to a syringe which has a volume of about 20 - 30 ml. Then, this needle is injected into the cyst and the doctor slowly removes the fluid content by suction. To help fasten the pace of healing and more importantly, prevent any untoward inflammatory reactions, the doctor may also inject a corticosteroid into the joint once the fluid has been withdrawn. A compression dressing is then applied to the site and the patient is advised to stay in the hospital for about half an hour.
It is said that the recurrence rate of the cyst is high after an aspiration procedure. This is because if any part of the wall or cystic lining is left behind, then there are chances that the cyst will eventually grow back. Although with time, the recurrence rate substantially goes down, however, in cases where the person has a high recurrence rate, surgical intervention is opted for. Surgery is also preferred if the ganglion cyst is very large in size.
While preparing for the surgical procedure, known as ganglionectomy, there are certain things that need to be kept in mind. If your health care provider has advised you to get the procedure done under general anesthesia, then arrange for a family member or a friend to come and pick you up after the procedure. Ensure that you strictly do not smoke before and after the procedure, because smoking adversely affects the healing mechanism after a surgery. Furthermore, do not eat or drink anything after midnight, or on the morning before the surgical procedure. Try to avoid drinking excess of coffee and tea as well.
As mentioned before, in cases of very large ganglion cysts, a surgery is advised. This procedure takes place in the physician's office and is normally done under local or regional anesthesia, unless the case demands the need for general anesthesia. The surgeon first palpates or feels the borders of the sac with his fingers, which helps to mark the peripheral borders. The sac is cut with a scalpel and excised in toto, after which the incision is closed with sutures and is bandaged. In this procedure as well, the patient is asked to wait for at least half an hour post the surgery.
After the surgery, the patient is asked to avoid doing any kind of strenuous physical activity for at least the next two days post surgery, as it will affect the recovery time for the surgery. If the site of surgery shows any kind of infection or inflammation, then the person is asked to report to the doctor immediately. An excision surgery may result in stiffness after the surgery with some difficulties in flexing the hand due to some kind of scar tissue formation.
Thus, this was all about ganglionectomy procedure. There are many factors that will affect its cost, like possible complications, type of anesthesia used, etc. Although ganglion cyst is not hazardous, it is best to get it removed at the earliest to prevent any future complications.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.