• Book Appointment
  • Phone: 1300 522 096
  • Fax: 07 5676 9695
  • Email: info@footsurgery.com.au
Ganglion Cyst (skin lesions)

Ganglion Cyst (skin lesions)

Usually, simple wear and tear on a particular tendon or joint is the cause of a ganglion.

Ganglion Foot Cyst

The most common soft tissue growth found in the body/foot is a ganglion cyst which is not cancerous. Typically forming off a joint capsule or tendon sheath, the growth is a gel-filled cyst.

Ganglion cysts can be as small as a pea-size, while larger ones can be as big as a golf ball.

Usually not painful but can be irritated by shoe pressure against a nearby nerve and can sometimes affect joint movement. If large enough it can limit the types of shoes you can wear.

If you have a cyst on the top of your toes just behind the toenail, this is known as a mucinous cyst (myxoid cyst). It can look like a translucent lesion or like a blister.


Wear and tear: Although the exact causes are unknown, simple wear and tear on a particular tendon or joint is believed to be the cause of a ganglion.

Trauma or injury: Whether a single event or repetitive micro trauma, the tissue of the joint breaks down.

Arthritis: If you have a mucinous cyst it may be due to some degenerative joint disease (arthritis) in the last joint of the affected toe.

Ganglion cysts can develop in anyone, but they are most frequent in women between 20-40.


Diagnosis of a ganglion (or mucinous cyst) is typically made by examination. Dr Kim will examine where the ganglion is located and you may require an ultrasound that is also done in the clinic.


Close monitoring: if ganglions are not causing pain or interfering with movement, it may be left alone. The cyst may simply disappear on its own or change in size.

Needle aspiration: one of the tests to diagnose ganglion involves an aspiration of the fluid with a fine needle. In many cases (around 50%) this treatment empties the cyst and no further treatment is needed.


Surgery is considered in patients who have not responded well to non-surgical treatments, if you have problems with shoe fitting, or problems with your normal daily activities.

The excision surgery involves removal of the mass and a small amount of the tissue of origin. This can be performed safely under local anaesthetic. For those patients who do not like the thought of needles, the procedure can be performed as day surgery under general or twilight anaesthetic.

Before & After Photos

G Cyst
G cyst 2
G Cyst 0523

Appointment Information

Cost & Item Codes – Our fees are quoted on a case-by-case basis after your initial consultation with the surgeon as each patient presents differently and each surgery varies from patient to patient. Please book an initial consultation to discuss this further.

Scans – We recommend you have an ultrasound of the cyst prior to your appointment.

Telehealth – We are unable to offer an initial telehealth appointment for this issue.

Surgery Information

Do I need surgery? – Although your surgeon may recommend an operation, it is your decision if you go ahead or not.

Duration – The procedure typically takes around 20 minutes.

Anaesthesia – Surgery can be performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia, depending on the surgeon’s and the patient’s preferences.

Medications – Your surgeon will discuss all medications with you on your initial consultation.

Smoking – If you are a smoker, you need to stop the habit of smoking 4 weeks before your operation for normal healing and reduce postoperative complications.

Recovery Process

Patients must follow their surgeon’s instructions carefully during recovery to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

No surgical or invasive procedure comes without risks and complications. The main complications are – Pain and swelling, Infection, Return of the lesion.

The following should be adhered to in order to hasten your recovery from foot surgery. In general, the following timeline can be expected:

Immediately after surgery: Go home and rest. Elevate your foot as often and as much as possible to reduce swelling for 2-3 days.

Bandages must be kept dry at all times and must not be removed before your first post-operative consultation with Dr Kim.

Wear post-operative shoe all the time, even at bed for the first 2 weeks. Place a plastic bag over your foot when showering.

The first few days: For any hospital procedures under general anaesthesia.

When you are resting, keep your operated foot elevated.

To reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs (DVT), exercise your leg muscle by rotating your ankles and flexing and extending your knees at regular intervals.

Walking is permitted and encouraged, as tolerated in the post-op shoe.

1-2 weeks: Although you are allowed to walk on your foot after surgery (in a post-operative shoe) it is best to completely rest your foot and elevation is encouraged in the first 1-2 weeks following surgery.

In the first 2 weeks, keep the foot dry until stitches are removed.

You may be able to return to wearing comfortable shoes after 2 weeks.

Driving – Your surgeon will advise when you can start driving, usually 5-7 days after surgery.

You may drive if surgery is on the left foot, when you are off narcotics, and if your car is an automatic. If surgery is on the right foot, you can drive when you are given clearance from your surgeon.

Flying –Check with your surgeon on individual circumstances.

Return to Work sedentary – If you work at a desk with minimal time on your feet and you are able to elevate your foot/feet, you may be able to return to work between 1-7 days.

Return to Work active – If you have a physical job or are standing a lot and unable to elevate your foot/feet, you may not be able to return to work until 2-4 weeks.

Low impact exercise – return to normal daily activities and gentle low impact exercise 2-3 weeks.

High impact exercise – should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.

Patients should contact their surgeon if –

  • You experience severe pain that is not relieved by rest, elevation, pain medication and/or applying an ice pack to the operated part.
  • Bandages become saturated with blood.
  • The colour of your toes appear abnormal.
  • You bump and injure your foot.

Full recovery usually takes 3-4 weeks.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Podiatric Surgeon Dr Kim is the leading surgeon for Foot Surgery in Brisbane and Gold Coast, contact him today for a consultation regarding a ganglion cyst.

No referral needed

Contact Us

A GP referral is welcome however it is not essential for your appointment


Dr Ji Soo Kim (Specialist Podiatric Surgeon) BPodM, DClinPod, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)

Book Appointment

Dr Kim has two offices, one located in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. The other is in Southport, Gold Coast.

Please call 1300 522 096

    • Ingrown Toenails

      Ingrown Toenails

      Don’t wait for that ingrown toenail to become infected and painful.
      Don’t suffer any longer from recurring or chronic ingrown toenails, there is a cure!

    • Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Keyhole

      Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Keyhole

      MIS foot surgery doesn’t involve a long incision. It results in less trauma to muscles & soft tissue surrounding the foot & in most cases less pain & faster recovery.

    • Bunion


      Do you have a bony, painful bump at the base of your big toe? Bunions can form at this joint and will not go away on their own. This doesn’t mean that your lifestyle has to be affected, we can help.