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Excision of Soft Tissue Masses

During this outpatient procedure, the physician removes a mass that has formed beneath the skin of the foot. This animation will show the removal of the most common type of soft tissue mass (a ganglion cyst). A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that is connected to a joint capsule or tendon sheath. Ganglion cysts commonly form near the ankle.

Cyst Accessed
In preparation for the procedure, the foot is numbed with local anesthetic. The physician creates an incision to expose the cyst.

Tail Is Cut
Ganglions have a tail that attaches to the joint capsule or tendon sheath. The physician cuts this tail at its base.

End Of Procedure
The physician carefully removes the cyst, and then repairs the joint capsule or tendon sheath with sutures. The physician closes the incision in the skin and bandages the foot.

Recovery time may vary depending on the location and size of the mass. If the cyst was near the ankle, it may be necessary to temporarily immobilize the joint with a splint or cast. Crutches may be required for several days or weeks. Sutures are removed 10-14 days after the procedure.

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