Draining Steve, the Huge Ganglion Cyst on my Wrist, with Aspiration

For over a year and a half I’ve been attached to Steve, which is the name I’ve given to the ridiculously large ganglion cyst on the top of my wrist. Steve has become bigger and bigger over that time and he finally got to the point to where he was causing some pain in my wrist — especially while I was doing pushups during my workouts. This meant it was time to say goodbye to Steve.

Why Steve?

I ended up calling my ganglion cyst Steve because he was always a hot topic of conversation and it was only a matter of time before someone noticed him. Honestly, having a huge growth on my wrist didn’t really bother me aesthetically and it was actually kind of fun to tell people about it, but as time went on Steve just kept on growing and I worried pretty soon that I would end up being just a growth on Steve if I didn’t do something about it.

The Options

Anyone who has a ganglion cyst basically has two options of how to get rid of it. Well, three if you consider smacking it with a book as an option, which believe it or not has been a way to get rid of them for years. Even when I went to the doctor to get Steve drained the nurse told me about how she smacked her ganglion cyst with a big medical book and it’s never come back since.

So, that’s an option if you’re up for some excitement, but if your cyst is big like mine or if you’d rather let the professionals handle it you have two options — either drain it, which is called aspiration, or cut it out completely through surgery. Me, not really wanting to have surgery if I don’t have to, decided to to the aspiration route first to see if that could take care of Steve without having to go under the knife. If not, surgery could possibly be in my future.

Ganglion Cyst Aspiration Procedure

As I said, draining a ganglion cyst, or aspiration, is a piece of cake. Almost any doctor can do it and if you’re not too scared of needles it’s quick and painless. Steve, my ganglion cyst, was about as big as they got on the top of a wrist and it still took less than five minutes to drain it and besides a little prick of a needle it was completely painless.

Draining the Fluid

The basic order or operations, which you can also see in this video I made, went like this. First, the doctor wiped the cyst with some iodine antiseptic and shot me up with a little bit of local anesthetic through a small needle. Then he took a larger gauge needle and stuck it directly into Steve and started draining the thick, clear lubricating fluid that he was filled with. I had a lot of fluid in my cyst, so this took a few minutes. The doctor then removed the larger needle and squeezed out what was left of the fluid (and a little blood) just like you would squeeze a pimple.

Finishing Up

Once he was finished he had a half-filled syringe full of Steve’s fluid and put a gauze pad on top if it to soak up any blood or fluid that was still draining out of where he stuck in the needle. A nurse then came in and wrapped it up with some flexible tape to add some compression, which I wore for the rest of the day and night until I took a shower before I went to sleep.

Recovery

While I’m writing this Steve is almost completely gone and he’s gotten smaller every day since he was drained. From what I can tell the tissue and fluid that was left over from draining my ganglion cyst is still being absorbed into my body and it’s going to take a few more days for it to finish up.

As of now, I feel like I don’t need to drain Steve through aspiration again, but there is always a chance of him coming back again. If that happens then I’ll need to decide whether or not I want to have him surgically removed. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but I’ll just have to wait and see.

See ya Steve, it’s been real and I really hope you don’t come back.

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