WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
A mass is simply a localized enlargement anywhere in the body. Some masses are ganglion cysts or infections discussed elsewhere in this section. Other reasons for masses are usually tumors. Malignant tumors (the bad kind) are extremely rare in the hand and wrist region. The most common benign tumor is called a fibroxanthoma which has a local recurrence rate of around 15%.
The story of when the patient first noticed the mass and how quickly it grew since that time is very important. The patient should reveal other unusual circumstances surrounding how the mass came to exist.
The mass will be examined for its size, location, consistency, mobility, and tenderness.
Sometimes a magnetic resonance image (MRI) will be obtained prior to surgery to define its appearance, size, and relationship to other tissues.
|CONSISTS OF||Observation||Usually complete excision rather than partial sampling|
|FEATURES||Periodic check-up to measure and examine the mass||Outpatient surgery|
|ADVANTAGES||Avoids surgery||Mass removed and sent to pathology laboratory where it is fully analyzed|
|DISADVANTAGES||Nature of mass remains unknown||Leaves scar at site of excision|
Sutures are removed in the office at 2 weeks. Usually only a brief course of outpatient rehabilitation is needed to soften the scar and make sure that no stiffness occurs. Everyday use of the hand is begun almost immediately.