Aspiration with a needle is usually relatively straightforward, particularly for cysts that are clearly visible and palpable. Aspiration can provide a patient with some confirmation of the diagnosis, however most patients (more than 50%) will get recurrence.
Surgery is appropriate for patients with symptoms. The procedure is usually performed as a day case, using either local or general anaesthetic. The risks of surgery include: recurrence of the cyst, stiffness, ache, numbness, and as with any hand surgery there is a small risk of complex regional pain (a stiffness and swelling in the hands which can take several weeks or months to dissipate).
I usually remove dorsal wrist ganglion cysts using a short transverse scar. The wrist is supported with a padded bandage containing a strip of Plaster of Paris to support the wrist.