This outpatient procedure is used to remove a ganglion cyst, a fluid-filled sac that forms as a
herniation from a joint capsule, ligament or tendon sheath. Ganglion cysts commonly develop at the wrist.
This procedure is performed in the operating room under sterile conditions. Anesthesia is administered, a tourniquet is applied, and the hand is cleansed and sanitized. The patient is positioned with the back of the hand clearly visible to the surgeon.
Accessing the Wrist
A small incision is made on the wrist, just above the location of the cyst. The surgeon isolates the cyst from the surrounding tissues in the wrist and locates the base of the cyst stalk, where the cyst is attached to the joint capsule, ligament, or tendon sheath.
Removing the Cyst
The base of the ganglion stalk is cut at its origin. The cyst is removed and the defect in the joint capsule, ligament, or tendon sheath may be repaired with sutures.
End of Procedure
The incision is closed with sutures, and a bandage is applied. An injection of local anesthesia is often given for pain relief. The wrist is placed in a splint, and the patient may go home the same day as the procedure.