The most common form of benign tumour is the ganglion cyst, a ball of fluid that grows on a tendon or joint. The backs of the hands and wrists are most commonly affected, but ganglions can appear on the feet, knees or ankles.


How can it help?

The cause is unknown but it is thought that small tears in the tendon membrane or joint capsule caused by overuse or trauma cause the contents to squeeze out.

Occasionally ganglion cysts go away by themselves. However, where cysts persist or affect daily life, surgical removal is recommended. Surgery must be done meticulously to avoid the not infrequent recurrence of the problem.



The surgery is usually performed at the Coffs Harbour Day Surgery or Baringa Private Hospital under general anaesthesia and with the use of a tourniquet to give good vision. The procedure can be difficult if the cyst is multi-loculated.



Depending on the location of the excised ganglion cyst, full recovery can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. You will be fitted with a splint for about one week, after which you will be encouraged to get the joint moving again, but with some restriction.

Frequently Asked Questions

All surgery leaves scars. In most cases the scar tissue becomes difficult to see after a period of 12 to 18 months. We will provide extensive scar management advice post surgery.

As with all surgical procedures, there will always be risks such as post-operative bleeding, allergic reactions and haematoma.

Common side effects include temporary bruising from the injection area, headache and mild flu like symptoms, all of which should resolve within 72 hours.

An occasional problem is drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis) due to the toxin running from the forehead into the upper eyelid.  While this is a nuisance, full recovery is usually seen in 2 to 3 weeks.

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