Elbow ganglion excision

What is a ganglion?

A ganglion is a non-cancerous cyst filled with clear jelly-like material, related to a joint or tendon sheath. The most common position for a ganglion is over the back of the wrist, but ganglia are also found around other joints of the hand and arm. A ganglion forms a smooth prominent lump which may fluctuate in size or even disappear completely, though it may come back again. Some ganglia cause pain and discomfort. Though there are some measures to break and empty the cyst, many return or refill, proving the best method to be removing it entirely by surgical procedure.

What does treatment involve?

Ganglion removal is usually done under local or general anaesthetic as a day case patient and takes up to thirty minutes. Your surgeon will make a cut over the ganglion and separate it from the nearby tendons, nerves and blood vessels before removal. At the end of the procedure your skin will be closed with stitches.

When will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day and regular exercise should allow you to return to normal activity. The scar is usually acceptable, but may become red and thick especially on the front of the wrist.