RAK doctor puts her finger on rare tumour

For several years, Thomas, a senior executive in an international company suffered from excruciating pain. A tiny point below the nail of the right thumb was the source of the trouble. Even a mere touch there could make him cry. But now, thanks to recent surgery at the Ras Al Khaimah Hospital, the 50-year-old Indian patient is right as rain. A rare benign vascular tumour was removed from the thumb. The glomus tumour is rare. Though accounting for a very small percentage of hand tumours, it inflicts severe pain, even on mild touch. “Even as he was relating his symptoms I had made a diagnosis,” said Dr Punam Bijlani, head of department of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the hospital. “I told him there was a high suspicion of a glomus tumor.” This benign tumour, which in this case measured only three millimetres, causes considerable trouble because usually, there’s a delay in diagnosis. “Many of these tumours are so tiny that they cannot be seen or palpated and are sometimes even missed radiologically. A high clinical suspicion is important,” Dr Bijlani explained. Bony erosions usually occur in later stages of the disease for which MRI can be useful. “The tumor was surgically excised and the patient is free from pain now,” said the doctor. The wound has been covered up aesthetically. “The opinion that plastic surgery is about aesthetics alone needs to be dispelled. Plastic surgery is one of the most ancient branches of medicine. Congenital anomalies, hand surgery, cancer reconstruction, trauma reconstruction and recalcitrant wounds — all belong to the purview of plastic surgeons. Reducing plastic surgery to an aesthetic resource alone is as much a disservice to the faculty as it is to society,” added Dr Bijlani. news@khaleejtimes.com For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes, and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes