A ganglion is a fluid filled sack which generally communicates with a joint. The most common ganglions are those that occur on the back of the wrist (dorsal wrist ganglion). They may also occur on the front of the wrist (volar wrist ganglion) or within the hand (normally a flexor sheath ganglion).
Some ganglions go up and down with time. Ganglions that have been present for more than three to six months will not usually spontaneously disappear. The traditional treatment of whacking a ganglion with a big heavy Bible is not recommended!
Most ganglions are treated at the day surgical facility of St Georges Hospital or Southern Cross Hospital under either a short general anaesthetic or an arm block. An incision is made over the ganglion. Any important nerves or structures are identified by Mr Kenton-Smith and preserved.Wrist ganglions are dissected from the surrounding tissue and the neck of the sac, which communicates with the wrist joint, is also removed. This minimises the chance of recurrence of the ganglion.
Ganglions within the hands need to be removed carefully and the important nerves of the hand are identified and preserved by Mr Kenton-Smith prior to removing the it. After the ganglion is removed and stitched a soft woollen crepe dressing is applied.
The dressing is required for the following five days to keep the hand comfortable. Gentle activity is recommended following surgery but no heavy manual labour before three to four weeks.
Most people can return to work within a few days if they perform the light duties or desk type jobs.
The cost of the surgery is approximately $4,500, this includes all surgical, anaesthetic and hospital costs