A ganglion cyst is a benign (non-cancerous) lump filled with fluid. Commonly occurring on the joints or tendons of the hand or wrist, ganglion cysts can be removed surgically or through aspiration. When a ganglion cyst presses on a nerve, pain or numbness may occur.
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Ganglion Cyst Treatments
One of the simplest treatments for a ganglion cyst is to wait and see whether it goes away on its own. During this time, your doctor may recommend immobilising the joint where the cyst is located -- by wearing a wrist splint, for example. Aspiration may be used to remove a resistant cyst; in this procedure, a hollow needle is inserted into the cyst and used to suck out the jellylike liquid in the centre of the cyst. If the cyst is not suitable for removal by aspiration, surgery may be considered.
Surgery to remove a ganglion cyst is typically an outpatient procedure. A local anesthetic -- or, sometimes, a regional anesthetic -- will be administered to numb the area where the cyst is located. An incision is then made over the cyst, the cyst and some surrounding tissue is removed, and the incision is then stitched and bandaged.
Numbness in your finger following surgery to remove a ganglion cyst will occur shortly after surgery until the anesthetic has worn off. Rarely, persistent finger numbness may indicate that nerves in the finger were damaged during surgery. Some time after surgery, it is possible that the ganglion cyst may regrow and cause finger numbness by pressing on a nerve in your finger.
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