Ganglions and Other Hand Tumors
Ganglions are the most common tumours identified in the hand and wrist. A ganglion is a fluid-filled cyst that is commonly found around the wrist, at the base of the fingers or at the distal interphalangeal joint of the fingers. Ganglion cysts usually arise adjacent to joints or synovial lined tendons. They occur commonly as a result of an overuse syndrome, but may be related to arthritis or following a hand injury. They first appear as a swelling under the skin and may feel soft or firm. A ganglion cyst can become apparent gradually or more quickly and then often changes in size, but generally starts out the size of a pea. Ganglion cysts can cause aching near the affected joint, due to damage to the associated wrist joint capsule and can be made worse with repetitive motions of the hand and fingers. Ganglions can sometimes disappear spontaneously, but surgical removal by a plastic surgeon would be recommended if the ganglion becomes painful, recalcitrant or unsightly.
There are other less common hand tumours, most of which are harmless. These include lipomas, epidermal inclusion cysts, giant cell tumours, neuromas and enchondromas. If you do have a tumour in the region of your hand or wrist, it should be assessed by an experienced plastic surgeon to ensure it is not dangerous.
Treatment – Hand Surgery
Surgical removal of ganglions and other tumours of the hand is a safe and effective treatment option. This type of hand surgery can usually be performed as an outpatient procedure, under local or possibly general anaesthesia.
In some cases prior to surgery, plastic surgeon Dr. David Ross may recommend radiological assessment of the tumour to verify the diagnosis and to rule out any involvement of surrounding joints, tissues, etc. In the majority of cases, the tumour can be safely excised from the hand without damage to surrounding structures. Following surgical removal, the recurrence rate of a ganglion is usually minimal. Often a period of hand splinting is required to protect the hand while healing occurs to minimise the recurrence rate.
Please contact the office of plastic surgeon Dr. David Ross in Melbourne if you are considering surgical treatment of a hand tumour, following a full hand assessment a treatment plan will be suggested to correct the problem.
Traumatic Injury of the Hand
Hand trauma is a broad term that includes any sort of damage or injury to the nerves, tendons, soft tissues, bones, or joints of the hand. Injury to the hand and upper limb is one of the most common reasons for requiring medical attention. There are many causes of hand injury including lacerations, crush injury, burns, fractures and other traumatic events. Often hand injuries will require emergency surgical intervention. In most instances treatment is best provided by a hospital emergency department, who will involve a hand surgeon if necessary.
In some situations plastic surgeon Dr. David Ross can assist with emergency treatment of hand injuries depending on the urgency of treatment. Usually in these situations your general practitioner will contact our office to determine whether emergency treatment might be possible. There are some hand injuries (fractures and nerve injuries) where delayed surgical treatment may be feasible. It is probably best to discuss this situation with your primary physician.
Dr. David Ross has extensive experience in the treatment of traumatic hand injuries through his appointments as senior plastic surgeon at the Dandenong Hospital campus of Monash Health and the Frankston Hospital campus of Peninsula Health in Melbourne. Following surgery for the treatment of hand injuries there may need to be a prolonged period of hand rehabilitation to achieve the best functional result supervised by a specialist hand therapist working with Dr. Ross.
If you are considering hand surgery, contact Dr. David Ross, plastic surgeon at Bayside Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, Victoria.