Valvekliinik – personalized care in the centre of Tallinn


Ganglions (ganglion cysts) are fluid-filled swellings that often appear around joints or tendonts. These may feel like soft “bumps” underneath the skin and they vary in size. They are most often found around the hand, wrist, and fingers. They are benign, however, they may cause pain. Ganglions may spontaneously go away on their own. Their exact cause is still unknown, but they are most often associated with post-traumatic changes.

If the cyst does not cause pain or discomfort, the patient may try to apply a cold compress with ice (not placing ice directly on the skin). If needed, non-steroid anti- inflammation and pain medication such as Ibuprofen may be taken. Reducing load on the hand with the cyst is advisable.

  1. The less invasive approach is puncture of the ganglion and aspiration of the liquid. A hormone injection may be performed during this time which may reduce the risk of the ganglion reappearing. The procedure does not take long to perform and the patient can return to their daily life right after. The risk of the ganglion reappearing remains. 
  2. In case the cyst is painful or has reoccurred, it is possible to have it removed surgically. During this procedure, a local anesthetic is used and an incision is made in sterile conditions, the ganglion is removed. Pain medication may be taken after the operation, during the recovery. 

Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. The exact directions for after-care at home is given by the doctor on the day of the procedure. 

Puncture of a ganglion cyst
Surgical removal of a ganglion cyst