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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Dermatologist or hand surgeon?

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    I've met my ridiculously high deductible for the year, so I've decided to do all the things I've put off or whatever.

    Anyway, I've got a bb size lump under the pad of my right thumb. It's been there about 10 years. You can't see it, but if you press there you can feel it and it hurts under direct pressure.

    I mentioned it to my gp when it first appeared and she told me not to worry about it, that I had probably injured the finger at some point.

    Which brings me to now. I want to get it taken care of and have the lump removed. I just don't know who to see, dermatologist or hand surgeon?

    Thoughts/advice?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Pac. NW
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    I vote surgeon. Derms don't specialize in leaving the smallest scar.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    14,645
    I don't know that I have a clear understanding of what it is, but if it's scar tissue, I'd want to be very sure that surgery won't just make it worse, and I wouldn't necessarily trust any surgeon (dermatological, orthopedic or other) to give me an honest answer to that. If it's bothering you, maybe ask your PCP what she'd recommend. If you're very sure it's just some kind of defect in the skin and it's not too near a joint, maybe a plastic/reconstructive surgeon. A hand surgeon is an orthopedist, so they'd be the one to consult if it's on or near a functional structure like a joint or tendon. I think your instinct is right though that a dermatologist would probably have the best ability to look at your existing scars and draw conclusions about the way your body forms scars.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 03-30-2015 at 03:09 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
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    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    I actually have no idea what it is. Back then my gp said don't worry about it so I didn't. Knowing better now I would have had it investigated, but that ship has sailed.

    It's no where near a joint. It's right in the center of the pad of my thumb under the skin and it feels about the size of a bb. You can't see it looking at my thumb, but you can feel it. I want it removed because it causes pain when I press on it.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    I would probably start with a dermatologist first. S/he should be able to advise if another kind of surgeon would be better for it, but since the skin is an organ, even the deeper layers are things a dermatologist should be well-versed in. Good luck to you!
    Emily

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  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Thank you to everyone for your advice! I see my derm tomorrow anyway so I'll ask her. I also made an appointment with a hand/ortho specialist. If the derm says she can handle it I will cancel my other appt with the hand doc.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Good luck with your decision - hope it provides you relief!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    Well, those who pick hand surgeon win this round. Went to the derm since I wanted her to freeze some warts anyway and she said she thinks it's a ganglion cyst and she actually recommended the doc I had already made an appt with. She also said I could ignore it if I wanted, but since it causes me grief and I've met the deductible I'm going to take care of it.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
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    2013 Electra Verse

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,827
    Well at least you had other reasons for seeing the dermatologist, so it wasn't a wasted visit.

    Years ago I ended up meeting a high deductible thanks to surgery to remove a mysterious lump on my shoulder blade that ended up being just a benign bone growth. I took advantage of the situation and had several large moles removed.

    Good luck with the hand surgeon.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Just an unrelated side note, did you know the "home remedy" for ganglion cyst is smash it with a book? Seriously! Ow! My partner offered to do that for me. No thank you!

    I never in my life would have believed I'd meet a $3400 deductible. Before this year I wouldn't have even met a $500 deductible. It certainly puts things in perspective.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    IL/FL
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    I've had a ganglion cyst in my wrist since I was a teenager, my doc told me the same thing about using a book... really not something you should tell a teenager. BTW, it didn't work.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    I've had a ganglion cyst in my wrist since I was a teenager, my doc told me the same thing about using a book... really not something you should tell a teenager. BTW, it didn't work.
    I'm sorry, I know it's not funny, but I did have to laugh at the absurdity of a doc telling a teen that and of course a teenager would have to try it. There's no way I could willingly hit it hard enough to pop it.
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  13. #13
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    Jul 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    I'm sorry, I know it's not funny, but I did have to laugh at the absurdity of a doc telling a teen that and of course a teenager would have to try it. There's no way I could willingly hit it hard enough to pop it.
    It totally cracks me up in retrospect, my friends and I in the lunchroom in high school, a big old history text book, WHAM "did it pop" no... lets try again. God were were so stupid!! LOL

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Ow!!!!!

    Hope you can get it taken care of soon ... WITH numbing!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    One of my friends had a ganglion cyst surgically removed from her wrist. It was bugging her - and she was glad she had it done! Good luck with the surgeon!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

 

 

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