What is it?A ganglion (plural is ganglia or ganglions) is thought to be
an out-pouching of a joint or any space containing synovia l
fluid (joints, tendon sheaths, bursae). Symptoms relate to their
physical presence. They cause pressure effects when coming
from the end joint of the fingers or thumb thus grooving the
nail (these ganglia are referred to as “mucous cysts”), o r
discomfort from the pressure. They are thought to fill from the
synovial space, but the fluid seems to go one way only. The y
often occur around the wrist, on the front of the fingers, or i n
the end joint of the finger. They can occur inside wrist bone s,
and in other parts of the body.
How is it treated?Ganglia can be aspirated (sucked out) to relieve symptoms
but often recur. Usually no treatment is required or advised
unless they become troublesome from pain or due to the
pressure effect. If aspiration is inadequate, opening the space
between the ganglion and joint is sufficient. With mucous
cysts opening the space and removing some irritating bony
spikes usually cures them. The cysts themselves do not need
to be removed. They disappear when the space is opened.
Is Mr Callan experienced at this procedure?Mr Callan has over 20 years experience at this procedure. He
performs mucous cyst removal regularly but normally advises
against removal or surgery of other ganglia. As a fully trained
plastic surgeon, Mr Callan performs this procedure to the
highest standard available.
What are the results of surgery?Usually very good for mucous cysts with minimal recurrence .
However as mucous cysts are usually symptomatic of
osteoarthritis in the joint a new one may occur. With othe r
ganglia we prefer to wait as they often resolve themselves .
Surgery for these has a definite recurrence rate so is often
What happens after surgery?After surgery the hand is rested in a bandage. It is ver y
important to elevate the hand to minimise swelling.
And the future?Recurrence is possible as stated above.
Will I need to be seen after surgery?Yes. We will keep in close contact with you by telephone fo r
the first few days, then wil see you about ten days after
surgery, then at three weeks and at three months. You are of
course welcome to call or visit any time with any concerns.