A ganglion cyst is a noncancerous lump that most commonly develops in the wrist or hand, although they can also occur in the ankles or feet. If a ganglion cyst presses on a nerve, it may be painful. Depending on its location, a ganglion cyst may restrict movement. Some cysts do not require any treatment, but others require surgical removal.
Ganglion cyst removal is almost always an outpatient procedure. It may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Like any surgery, ganglion cyst removal poses a risk of infection, and some patients may experience an allergic reaction to the anesthesia used, or to the stitches used to seal the site. Most people who have a ganglion cyst removed heal quickly and without difficulty. However, ganglion cyst removal does not guarantee that ganglion cysts will not return. Some patients experience new cysts a few years after surgery.