What to Expect from Ganglion Cyst Removal

Prior to Surgery

  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), Clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood thinners.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have.
  • You will have blood samples taken in case you need a blood transfusion.
  • Let your doctor know if you have a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout or other illness prior to surgery. This may require that your reschedule your procedure.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you to recover quicker.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • Since you may have general anesthesia, you will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.

After Surgery

  • Most patients can go home the same day.
  • You can expect some soreness and swelling at the site of your incision for a few days. Remember to elevate your hand above your heart to help reduce swelling and use ice packs to help with discomfort.
  • Most patients feel much better within the first few days, but it takes two to six weeks for a full recovery.

Recovery: what to expect in the next few weeks

  • Rest your hand and keep the bandage in place until your doctor says it is OK.
  • You will be able to resume normal activities in two to six weeks following surgery.

Ganglion Cyst Removal Q&A

What does ganglion cyst removal surgery involve?

The outpatient procedure is done under general anesthesia. This minimally invasive procedure completely removes the cyst and the joint capsule that is the root of the ganglion.

How many incisions are made?

One small incision is made at the site of the cyst.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

This is an outpatient procedure.

What is the recovery time?

Patients will feel better in the first few days. Complete recovery and regaining full use of the finger takes about two to six weeks.

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