If symptoms caused by a ganglion cyst are not relieved by nonsurgical treatment, or if a ganglion cyst returns after aspiration, NYU Langone doctors may recommend surgery to remove the cyst.
Surgery involves making a small incision to remove the ganglion cyst as well as part of its “root,” which is the part of the cyst that connects it to the joint or tendon sheath. Surgery is performed using regional anesthesia and does not require an overnight stay in the hospital.
After surgery, your hand, wrist, or other affected area may be bandaged for several days. Your doctor may advise you to rest this part of the body and keep it elevated above the heart in the days after surgery, using it only for light activity. Within a few days of the procedure, most people notice that the cyst is causing them less pain than before. However, it may take two to six weeks for you to regain full use of the affected joint without pain.
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