Are there any alternative treatments?
We can perform a needle aspiration of your ganglion in the outpatient clinic. This is drawing off the contents of the ganglion with a needle and syringe. This cures up to 60% of patients. In the remaining 40% of patients the ganglion re-fills.
Some surgeons may use keyhole surgery to remove a ganglion. Although the scar is smaller than with standard open surgery, the chance of the ganglion coming back is higher.
What if you do nothing?
Often, ganglions go away without treatment. Your ganglion may get bigger or remain the same if you do nothing.
Who should have it done?
If we have tried curing your ganglion with a needle and syringe but it has returned, and you want to get rid of the lump, then you should consider this operation.
Who should not have it done?
You should not have the operation:
- if you are unwilling to accept the risk that the lump can come back after surgery in one in 10 people (10%)
- if you are not prepared to have a scar that may be three or four centimetres long.
You should not have a general anaesthetic for the operation if you have major medical problems, such as high blood pressure or a bad heart. We may be able to do the operation using local or a regional anaesthetic instead.
Author: Mr Boyd Goldie MBBS FRCS BSC DHMSA. Consultant in orthopaedics & trauma.
© Dumas Ltd 2006