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A ganglion is a small, benign cyst that contains a thick jelly-like material. They often vary in size from pea-sized swellings affecting the fingers to larger lumps affecting the wrist or foot and ankle. A ganglion looks and feels like a smooth lump under the skin. They are usually harmless but they can be unsightly. It is not fully understood how or why they occur – but they are usually attached to a joint or tendon and the fluid inside is a thicker version of synovial fluid which lubricates the joints.

Are they serious?

No, ganglions are benign which means that they do not spread. Sometimes they can be mildly painful particularly if they lie next to a nerve – most people choose to have them removed because they are unsightly.

What does the surgery involve?

If a ganglion does not cause symptoms it is best to leave it alone, however they can be removed by a relatively minor operation under local anaesthetic – to numb the small area being worked on.

Surgery will usually only take about 30 minutes. A cut is made in the skin over the ganglion, and the ganglion is removed from the joint or tendon lining without disturbing the surrounding structures. The cut will then be closed with dissolving sutures and covered with a dressing, which can usually be removed after one week.

It is important to note that ganglions can re-occur in the same place.

For further information on any surgical procedures or
to book a consultation, please contact us at:

Fitzwilliam Clinic, 70-72 Lisburn Road, Belfast
Tel: 028 9032 3888