Hand Lumps


Hand lumps, bumps or cysts are common problems that can affect both men and women of many different ages.

Because there are so many different types of tissue in the hand (skin, fat, tendon, nerve, bone) there are therefore many different types of lumps that can develop.

Some common causes of hand lumps are ganglion cysts, giant cell tumours of tendon sheath, epidermal inclusion cysts, lipomas, and glomus tumours - these names may sound confusing and worrisome, but most hand lumps are benign and not cancerous.

While benign lumps can be left alone, the lesions will often get bigger and become more of a nuisance, and become more difficult to eventually treat.

Typically, definitive treatment with the lowest recurrence rate will involve surgical removal of the lump.



Do I need hand lump surgery?

You may be a good candidate for removal of hand lumps or

  • The hand lump causes you symptoms (e.g. tenderness, reduced grip, impaired

  • The hand lump looks abnormal, or you don’t like the appearance of it.

  • The cause of the hand lump is unknown, and removal is needed for accurate diagnosis.



What does hand lump surgery involve?

Your initial consultation with Dr Colbert will involve a careful history and examination of the hand lump. Sometimes medical imaging (e.g. ultrasound) may be needed to help diagnose the lump and plan any treatment.

If surgery is required, then it is usually performed under light sedation or general anaesthetic (with you asleep), and usually as day surgery (meaning you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital).

The operation will involve careful and precise incisions to remove the lump completely, while not damaging surrounding structures such as nerves and blood vessels.

Once the lump is removed the incision is closed with sutures, and a sterile dressing and bandage is applied.  



What is the recovery?

The recovery from surgical removal of hand lumps can vary depending on the extent of the operation, however most patients will recovery relatively quickly without any significant problems.

  • Your hand incisions will be sutured closed in theatre, then covered with a dressing and a light bandage. You will be asked to keep your dressing clean and dry until you are seen for follow up.

  • Driving is possible once you are safely able to perform an emergency stop in your car, and usually this takes approximately five to seven days.

  • Returning to work depends on the extent of your operation and the nature of your job. People with office jobs can usually return within one to two days, while people performing more active work may need several more days.



What are the risks associated with hand lump surgery?

Common to all hand surgery procedures there are small risks of infection, bleeding and bruising, wounds taking longer to heal, and stiffness. These complications don’t usually happen, and if they do can be managed with dressings or hand therapy.

Common to removal of all lumps or bumps, there are risks of incompletely removing the lesion, or the lesion recurring despite being completely removed. These risks are very very small, but may require a further operation.

Every surgical procedure carries risks and therefore before proceeding you should always seen an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.



Where can I find out more?

To arrange to speak to Dr Colbert about the surgical treatment of hand lumps or cysts please contact our friendly office staff.

Alternatively you can leave a message by simply clicking on the button below.