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A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled lump that may cause pain or problems with movement.
Ganglion cysts typically range in size from the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball but may get bigger or smaller. They are filled with a jelly-like fluid called synovial fluid, which is the fluid that lubricates and cushions your joints.
Small ganglion cysts, known as occult cysts, do not cause visible swelling, and you may not be aware that you have one unless they cause symptoms, for example pain or tingling.
Ganglion cysts are not usually harmful and may go away without treatment, though this can take up to two years.
Some ganglion cysts are painful and may cause difficulty with movement especially if they are large. If your cyst is causing symptoms you may need a procedure to drain or remove the cyst.
Call or book online today to arrange a consultation to discuss private ganglion cyst removal with a consultant of your choice at Circle Health Group.
This page explains what a ganglion cyst is, when it may need treatment, and what treatment options are available.
The cost of private ganglion removal surgery with Circle Health Group starts from around £3,075*.
Our fixed-price packages include the cost of your surgery and all appropriate aftercare appointments. However, any pre-surgery diagnostic tests and your consultant's outpatient appointment consultation fees are charged separately.
Our flexible payment options help you spread the cost of your payment across a time period that suits you. We offer fixed-term monthly payment plans over 10 months to five years with no deposit required. If you decide to pay over 10 months, you will pay interest-free. If you are paying for a longer period, you will pay 14.9% APR.
If you have private health insurance, ganglion removal surgery will usually be covered by your provider. Speak to your insurer directly to find out.
*This is a guide price for patients who are paying for their own treatment. The actual cost of your treatment will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.
You are more likely to develop a ganglion cyst if you are:
Small ganglion cysts called mucous cysts can develop on the fingers. These are more common in women aged between 40 and 70 and are linked to arthritis of the finger.
Symptoms of a ganglion cyst may include:
If your ganglion is not bothering you, it may be best to leave it alone. About 50% of ganglion cysts disappear without treatment, but this can take between 12 and 18 months.
You should consider treatment if your ganglion cyst:
Your consultant will then examine your ganglion cyst which may include:
Ganglions are normally diagnosed by assessing your symptoms and performing a physical examination. In some cases, your consultant may order further tests to confirm your diagnosis including:
At Circle Health Group, your first appointment will usually be with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. This is a surgeon that specialises in conditions affecting the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Your first appointment is very important as it's where we perform all the necessary tests and examinations, provide a diagnosis, and discuss possible treatment options. We also get to know you and your expectations for treatment and encourage you to ask any questions you may have. It is very important to us that you are as well-informed and comfortable as possible before, during, and after your treatment.
If your ganglion is not impacting your life either by causing you pain or limiting your movement, it may be best to leave it alone and monitor your cyst to see if it gets better or worse. This is known as watchful waiting.
Moving the affected area can cause your ganglion to get bigger and may increase pressure on the nerves causing pain. Immobilising the area in a brace or splint can help relieve pain and reduce the size of your ganglion. Your consultant may also prescribe exercises to strengthen the joint and increase your range of motion.
Draining the fluid from the cyst relieves pain and pressure on the affected joint or tendon and allows you to move the joint more easily. This is normally the first treatment for ganglion cysts as it is less invasive than surgery. One of the downsides of this treatment is that in around half of all cases the cyst can come back as the root of the ganglion has not been removed. If this occurs, surgery may be an option.
This may be recommended if you have severe pain and reduced movement and other methods like aspiration haven't worked.
Your consultant will explain all of the treatment options to you and answer any questions you may have. They will recommend the most suitable option for you based on your symptoms, general health, and personal circumstances.
Your consultant may tell you to stop taking some medications such as blood thinners or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) before your operation. This is to reduce the risk of bleeding during your procedure.
If you are having a general anaesthetic, you will not be able to eat or drink anything from midnight on the day of your surgery.
After your surgery, you may have some pain or discomfort and your wrist may be in a sling for a few days. Try to arrange for someone to check in on you or help with tasks like cooking and cleaning during this time.
Open surgery is where the cyst is removed through incisions in the skin.
This is where instruments and a camera are inserted through tiny incisions to remove the cyst.
Surgery to remove a ganglion cyst is a minor procedure that typically takes around fifteen to thirty minutes. It is usually performed under local anaesthetic which will numb the area and stop you from feeling any pain.
The surgeon will make a small incision (cut) or incisions at the site of the cyst. The cyst is separated from the surrounding tendons, nerves, and blood vessels and from where it attaches to the joint. The cyst is removed, and the wound is sutured or glued closed. A sterile dressing is applied to the wound.
The exact details of ganglion surgery are different for everyone, and your surgery depends on a variety of factors such as your general health, symptoms, and preference. Talk to your consultant about what to expect during your operation.
If your surgery was on your wrist, your arm will be put in a sling for a few days to protect it and help to reduce swelling. You may need to have physiotherapy and be given exercises to strengthen your muscles after surgery.
You will not be able to drive yourself home after your surgery, so ask someone to collect you, or we can arrange a taxi if you prefer. You can drive when you feel safe to do so.
If you have a manual job that involves lifting or driving, you may need to take some time off work. Ask your consultant about when you can expect to return to work after surgery.
Everyone recovers differently from surgery. How quickly you recover depends on several factors including your general health, the type of surgery you had, and whether there were any complications during your surgery.
It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions after your surgery and allow yourself to recover at your own pace. Trying to do things before you are ready may cause further problems and delay your recovery.
It normally takes between two and six weeks to recover fully from ganglion cyst removal surgery. Your consultant will be able to give you a more personalised timeline for recovery based on your individual circumstances.
You can also reduce your risk of complications by being as healthy as possible before your surgery. These include:
H3: Some general risks of surgery may include:
Ganglion cyst removal is a minor procedure, so risks and complications are rare, and not usually serious.
Some possible risks and complications of ganglion cyst removal surgery include:
Your consultant will discuss all the possible risks and complications before your surgery. Use this time to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. The better informed you are, the more comfortable you will feel and the easier it will be to make an informed decision.
We answer some of your most commonly asked questions about ganglion cysts.
No. Attempting to drain a ganglion cyst yourself is not only unlikely to work, it can also cause further injury or infection and the cyst may well come back. If you find a lump anywhere on your body, make an appointment with a doctor.
It's a common myth that hitting a ganglion cyst with an object like a heavy book will cure it. In reality, you could cause further damage to the nearby bones and tissues or cause an infection. If you notice a new lump anywhere on your body, see your doctor for advice.
A ganglion cyst is filled with a clear, jelly-like fluid called synovial fluid. This is a natural fluid made by your body that cushions and lubricates your joints.
Yes. Around half of all ganglion cysts disappear without treatment. If your ganglion cyst is not troubling you, it may be best to leave it alone, but speak to your doctor for advice. If your ganglion cyst is painful, making it difficult for you to move, or its appearance is bothering you, treatment may be recommended.
The best treatment for a ganglion cyst depends on where the cyst is, how severe it is, and what treatments you have tried before. Your orthopaedic consultant will advise you on the best option for treatment.
Most ganglion cysts are not painful, but if they are putting pressure on a nerve, they may cause pain. If your ganglion cyst is painful, make an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss treatment options.
Yes. A ganglion cyst can burst, especially if you hit it, or knock it during strenuous activity such as sport. If your ganglion cyst bursts, the fluid spreads into the tissues under the skin and is eventually absorbed into your bloodstream. The affected area will be red, sore, and swollen for a few days.
If your ganglion cyst bursts:
• Flexible appointment times and locations that are convenient for you
• The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant best suit your needs
• Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
• Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
• Private ensuite rooms as standard
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• Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
• Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care
If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about ganglion cyst removal, book your appointment today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.