How are synovial cysts removed?

Juan P. Villablanca, MD
In the past, to remove a synovial cyst, an incision would be made in your back and some bone would be removed. Today, however, doctors can use imaging guidance from computed tomography (CT) scan to remove a synovial cyst. In this procedure, you lie on the CT table. Your doctor numbs the skin on your back and inserts a very thin needle into your spinal canal to the cyst. Contents of the cyst are sucked through the needle. Because the cyst is like a balloon that has been deflated, you instantly feel relief. If the content of cyst is too thick, your doctor can pop the cyst much like a balloon. The content of the cyst moves to your spinal canal and is safely absorbed by the body within a few hours.

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