What Are Ganglion Cysts?
Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can appear along the hand and wrist joints. These masses are non-malignant and often painless. Although ganglion cysts often do not cause discomfort, many patients seek treatment for aesthetic reasons.
At Advanced Dermatology, P.C. offers treatments to remove ganglion cysts for patients in Long Island. If you have a ganglion cyst that interferes with your day-to-day activities or causes you pain, our surgeon can evaluate your condition and determine whether hand surgery is the best option for you.
Causes and Symptoms
The precise cause of ganglion cysts is not well understood, but it may be related to an injury or trauma of the joint tissue or tendons. Ganglion cysts most commonly appear in adults, although children may develop them in rarer instances.
Symptoms of ganglion cysts include:
- Round or oval lump, which often develops on the back or front of the wrist
- Swelling or enlargement with increased activity
- Pain or tingling due to nerve pressure
- Loss of of joint mobility
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have any unusual growth on your hand or wrist, it is important to have a qualified doctor or surgeon conduct a thorough physical examination. Depending on the particular case, different treatments may be recommended to remove a ganglion cyst.
- Surgical Removal: If the ganglion cyst is solid or involves a blue vessel and/or is painful, hand surgery may be the best option. Surgery to remove a ganglion cyst can be done on an outpatient basis.
- Nonsurgical Treatment (Aspiration): Once a ganglion cyst has been diagnosed, the fluid may be extracted using a needle, a technique called aspiration. In many cases, aspiration can reduce the mass and alleviate discomfort; but if the fluid is too thick, it can be difficult to drain and the results are often temporary.
While they may be unsightly, a ganglion cyst does not generally require urgent care. However, complications, such as infection, can arise if left untreated. If infection occurs, the bacteria-filled sac can rupture and flow into the bloodstream. Always seek out medical care if you have a mass and never try to pop a ganglion cyst or remove fluid on your own.
Risks Associated with Surgery
Hand surgery for ganglion cysts is a safe and straightforward procedure. Like any medical intervention, hand surgery to remove a ganglion cyst does carry some risk of side effects. Patients may experience temporary tenderness around the treatment area, but this typically subsides in a few weeks. In rare cases, a cyst may come back after surgery and reduced joint mobility may persist in some patients. Our surgeon will review all risks with you so you can make an informed decision.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you suspect you have a ganglion cyst, contact Advanced Dermatology today to schedule a consultation with our hand surgeon. It is important to get a proper diagnosis before determining your treatment options.