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Ganglion Cyst Surgery

Ganglion Cyst Surgery: Dallas Hand Surgeon Dr. David and Solomon offers effective treatment for Ganglion Cyst. 

Dallas Hand Surgeons Dr. David and Solomon review Ganglion Cyst: symptoms, surgical, non-surgical treatment, cost, insurance, and recovery.

What is a Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion Cyst Surgery is recommended if non-surgical approaches do not work.  Ganglion cysts are benign cysts (lumps) that most commonly develop along tendons or joints. A mucous cyst is a ganglion cyst that develops near the nail in the finger. Ganglion cysts are more common in women, and 70% occur in people between the ages of 20 to 40. Rarely, ganglion cysts can occur in children younger than ten years old. Ganglion cysts can also develop on the palm side of the wrist. When found on the back of the wrist (dorsum), they become more prominent when the wrist is flexed forward. Ganglion cysts can develop around nerves and arteries. Dr. Azouz is careful to meticulously excise ganglion cysts around these structures.

What causes a ganglion cyst?

Ganglion cysts can be caused by trauma or damage to soft tissues.  Some patients develop a ganglion cyst when they injure their wrists or finger at work.  One theory suggests that trauma causes the tissue of the joint to break down, forming small cysts that then join into a larger, more obvious mass. The most likely theory involves a flaw in the joint capsule or tendon sheath that allows the joint tissue to bulge out.

Other locations for ganglion cysts:

  • At the base of the fingers on the palm, where they appear as small pea-sized bumps.
  • At the fingertip, just below the cuticle, where they are called mucous cysts.
  • Outside of the knee and ankle.
  • At the top of the foot.



Ganglion Cyst Signs And Symptoms:

  • A ganglion cyst usually appears as a mass that changes size.
  • It is usually soft, anywhere from 1-3 cm in diameter.
  • A ganglion cyst may appear slowly over time or may appear suddenly. The cyst may get smaller in size and may even go away, only to come back at another time.
  • Most ganglion cysts cause some degree of pain, usually following acute or repetitive trauma, but up to 35% are without symptoms except for their appearance.
  • If pain is present, it is usually chronic and made worse by the moving of the joint.
  • When the cyst is connected to a tendon, you may feel a sense of weakness in the affected area.

Ganglion Cyst Surgery

Dr. Azouz will usually recommend surgery if non-surgical approaches do not work or if the cyst is painful and interferes with function. Dr. Azouz also commonly recommends surgery if the diagnosis of a cyst or mass is unclear or if the mass is growing significantly.

If the cyst causes numbness or tingling of the hand or fingers, Dr. Azouz might recommend surgery as well. During this procedure, Dr. Azouz will remove the cyst and the stalk that attaches to the joint or tendon. The excision of a ganglion cyst is the most definitive means of treatment.  Sometimes a ganglion cyst can also be accompanied by other problems of the hand, including carpal tunnel syndrome, a torn ligament, or in combination with a trigger finger.

Ganglion Cyst Surgery Recovery

  • Ganglion cyst surgery is a day surgery meaning you go home from surgery this same day.
  • On the day of surgery, Dr. Azouz will perform a specialized nerve block. Patients do not have pain while the block is active.
  • Dr. Azouz placed the patient in a specialized splint and elevation pillow to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Dr. Azouz will inform the patient on when they may return to work and physical activities.
  • Masses that are excised from the hand are generally sent to pathology to be evaluated under a microscope.

Ganglion Cyst Frequently Asked Questions

How much Does Ganglion Cyst Removal Surgery Cost?

The cost of ganglion cyst surgery can widely vary. Dr. Azouz will determine the cost of surgery through a medical history and physical examination. Many insurance companies consider ganglion cyst surgery medically necessary but the cost of surgery is also heavily dependent on the deductible and coverage policy. Some patients who do not have insurance can be provided a cash pay price.  Worker’s compensation insurance  generally covers the surgery and recovery completely when the injury is deemed medically necessary and compensable with the at work injury.  Ganglion cysts are one of the most common wrist ailments and hand problems.

Non Surgical Treatment For Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts sometimes resolve on their own. Dr. Azouz may suggest a watch-and-wait approach if applicable. If the cyst is causing pain or interfering with joint movement, Dr. Azouz may recommend:

Immobilization. To temporarily immobilize the area with a brace or splint to help reduce inflammation. Dr. Azouz avoids long-term use of a brace or splint, which can cause the nearby muscles to weaken.

Aspiration. In this procedure, Dr. Azouz will use a needle to drain the fluid from the cyst. Even after this procedure, the cyst may recur because the cyst lining is not removed.

Many patients are more comfortable with the excision of growing masses of the hand especially when the diagnosis is unclear.

Dr. Azouz's Locations

Dr. Azouz has privileges at a variety of hospitals and emergency rooms throughout the DFW metroplex including Dallas, Fort Worth, Richardson, Plano, Flower Mound, Addison. Patients frequently travel to see Dr. Azouz from Frisco, Allen, Mckinney, Arlington and Rockwall. It is not uncommon for patients to even travel from across Texas including East Texas (Tyler, longview), West Texas (midland odessa) and central Texas (waco, austin) to see Dr. Azouz.

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