Understanding the difference
Ganglion cysts are the most common tumors of the hand. They are completely benign in nature, but may cause pain. They typically arise in predictable locations in the wrist and hand. As the name implies, these are fluid-filled masses.
Management of ganglion cysts includes observation, aspiration, and surgical excision. Aspiration is associated with a high recurrence rate.
There are other masses or tumors of the hand that we encounter. These include lipomas, inclusion cysts, giant cell tumors, and many others. The management of these masses vary and will be discussed with you based on your diagnosis.
Removing the growth
Ganglion cysts and other benign tumors are treated by excision (removal) in the operating room.
If a malignancy is suspected, a sample of the tumor is removed (biopsy) and it is sent to pathology to determine if malignancy is present. If the mass is proven to be malignant, a specific treatment plan will be made with you to best manage the problem.
Taking the time to heal
Your doctor will discuss the specifics of your recovery timeline. Many patients may return to light activity immediately following the operation and unrestricted work within four weeks.