Wrist Ganglion Excision

Post-Operative Instructions/Information after Wrist Ganglion Excision

What to Expect:

The local anesthetic may make areas of your hand feel numb for 8-12 hours.

You will have a moderate amount of pain for the first 3-4 days; this should be adequately addressed by the oral narcotic pain medication that was prescribed when you left the day surgery suite (Vicodin or Oxycodone). The usual dose of an anti-inflammatory such as Advil is recommended at the same time you are taking the pain medication (unless you have a history of ulcers).

Other measures that are helpful include elevating the hand on a few pillows and draping a plastic bag filled with crushed ice over the splint and dressing (place a dish towel or small hand towel over your arm first so the dressing doesn't get wet).

Other Suggestions:

To keep your hand from throbbing it can be helpful to elevate your hand above your heart. When lying on your back if you place your hand on a pillow you can put your hand inside the pillow case so that your hand will not fall off of the pillow.

Put a plastic bag over your forearm and hand when showering (keep dressing dry).

If you experience any worrisome symptoms such as a fever higher than 101.5 degrees or markedly increased pain, contact the clinic during normal office hours. If it is after business hours and you need to reach the doctor on-call you may call our main number:(503)214-5200 and this will put you in contact with the doctor on-call.

Activity Level:

Leave the post-operative dressing on until you return to the office for dressing removal which will be approximately 9-14 days after your surgery. You can begin gentle range of motion exercises with your fingers. This should consist of flexing and extending the fingers. You may use your hand for light activities such as eating, dressing, typing, etc. Try to avoid vigorously bending the wrist down (flexion) as it can disturb the area of healing. Too much wrist motion in the first 4-6 weeks after your surgery will increase the risk of your ganglion returning. Weight lifting is strongly discouraged after your surgery for at least 6 weeks.

You may begin gentle wrist range of motion after your first post-operative appointment.


Schedule a post-operative appointment for 9-14 days after the surgery. The phone number for our appointment desk is: (503)214-5255. At this visit your post-operative dressing will be removed. Your sutures will also be removed at this time. You will then be given a prescription for a removal wrist brace that will need to be worn during activity for approximately 4 weeks after your surgery. Keep in mind that some localized swelling may persist for 2-3 months post-surgery. This swelling can often appear as a ganglion cyst, but is often scar tissue.