What Is the Recovery Time Following Ganglion Cyst Surgery on a Wrist?

Recovery time for surgical removal of a ganglion cyst on the wrist is usually two to six weeks, after which the patient may resume normal activities, explains OrthoInfo. In most cases, the surgery is an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to return home the same day.

Surgery to remove a ganglion cyst on the wrist involves cutting away both the cyst and part of the tendon sheath or joint capsule on which the root of the cyst is located, notes OrthoInfo.The surgery is typically reserved as a last resort if nonsurgical methods prove unable to manage the patient’s symptoms or if the cyst returns after the patient undergoes an aspiration procedure.

Nonsurgical treatment options for ganglion cysts include observation, immobilization and aspiration, explains OrthoInfo. A ganglion cyst may disappear on its own with time and is not cancerous, so immediate treatment is not always necessary. The doctor may simply observe the cyst for abnormal changes if it does not cause any major discomfort. Immobilization involves using a wrist brace or splint to keep the cyst in place, which prevents pain and allows the cyst to decrease in size. Aspiration is the process of puncturing the cyst with a sterile needle, then draining it of fluid.