There are two ways surgery can be used to remove a ganglion cyst:

  • open surgery where the surgeon makes a medium-sized cut, usually about 5cm (2 inches) long,over the site of the affected joint or tendon
  • Arthroscopy a type of keyhole surgery where smaller incisions are made anda tiny camera called an arthroscope is used by the surgeon to look inside the joint; using the arthroscope as a guide, they then pass instruments through the incision to remove the cyst

Both techniques can be performed under either local anaesthetic, where you areawake but won't feel any pain, or general anaesthetic , whereyou are asleep during the operation.

The choice depends on where the ganglion is, which anaesthetic you'd prefer, and what your surgeon thinks is best.

Open or keyhole surgery?

Both techniques are equally effective at removing the cyst and reducing the risk of it returning.

Keyhole surgery tends to cause less pain after the operation, but waiting times are often longer.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018