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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Ganglion Excision

Contact: (0191) 282 5647 - Sister or Nurse in Charge, Ward 47, RVI


IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

This information sheet is intended to help you understand the operation and the aftercare that will be necessary to achieve the best possible results.

What is a Ganglion?

A ganglion is a swelling, which can develop in the hand and elsewhere. These are often on the back of the hand, the front of the wrist and at the base of the fingers. These swellings are filled with a jelly like substance, which usually helps to lubricate the joints.

During your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

The operation may be carried out under either a local or general anaesthetic. An information leaflet is available which will provide you with the details you require regarding your anaesthetic (The Trust Information Leaflet ‘You and Your Anaesthetic’).

A tourniquet is applied to the affected arm. It is similar to a blood pressure cuff and is filled with air. This helps the surgeon maintain a dry, blood free operation site during the procedure. The wound is closed with stitches and a dressing and bandage applied to hold your hand in the most comfortable position.

After the operation you will return to the ward, most patients are allowed home that same day. An appointment will be given to you to have the stitches removed at 10 days and a further appointment for a review in an outpatient clinic. Your wounds should be kept covered by dressings until the stitches are removed.

What are the risks?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • If the wound becomes infected you may require a course of antibiotics.
  • Breakdown of the wounds requiring regular dressings.
  • A tender or painful scar.
  • A stiff wrist joint.
  • Recurrence of the ganglion.
  • Very rarely there is an alteration in the way your hand sweats with associated swelling and discomfort from the hand.

For most patients their operation does not involve these complications and they are pleased with the results of surgery.

This sheet is not a complete list of all the possible complications, but it is provided to act as an additional source of information, following your discussion about the operation.

If you require any further information or advice please contact:

Sister or Nurse in Charge Plastic Surgery Out Patient Department, RVI

Telephone:  (0191) 282 4228 (direct line) Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, or

Sister or Nurse in Charge Ward 47, RVI

Telephone:  (0191) 282 5647 (direct line) anytime

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