Aspiration is usually carried out in the outpatient department of your local hospital or GP surgery. Your doctor will remove as much of the contents of the ganglion as possible with a needle and syringe.

The area is sometimes also injected with a dose of steroidmedication to help prevent the ganglion returning, although there's no clear evidencethis reduces the risk of recurrence.

After the procedure,a plaster is placed over the small hole in your skin and can be removed about six hours after the procedure.

Aspiration is a simple and painless procedure, and you'll be able to leave the hospital or surgery straight afterwards. It's often the first treatment option offered for ganglion cysts as it's less invasive than surgery.

However,aroundhalf ofallganglion cysts treated using aspiration return at some point. If a cyst does return, surgery may be necessary.

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018