Lumps & Bumps in Children

Children often develop swellings and lumps that can cause a lot of concern to parents. It is worth taking these seriously since children sadly do develop tumours sometimes. The vast majority of these, however, are entirely benign. Some of them need to be removed while others do not. Every case is treated on its merit and we can usually make a decision at the first consultation. Sometimes further investigations are required.

Symptoms

Usually, the parent or child will notice an unusual lump. It may have been present from birth or may have developed afterwards. It may grow or it may remain the same size. It may be painful or painless and can occur anywhere. We will usually evaluate the lump based on history, associated symptoms, appearance and consistency.

Causes

There are a vast number of possible diagnoses for lumps in children. Too many to mention here. The good news is that in children, these are almost always benign. The diagnoses range from benign or rarely malignant tumours to cysts and some congenital anomalies.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the nature of the lump. Some can be observed and left alone. Some may need to be excised and some may need to be biopsied for further diagnosis.

FAQ’s

It is vanishingly rare for children to develop malignant tumours and most lumps and bumps are entirely benign in nature. However, all new lumps do need to be assessed carefully since malignant tumours may occur.
An experienced paediatric surgeon can often make a diagnosis in the clinic and recommend treatment. Sometimes, however, further investigations such as scans may be required.
Sometimes the lump does need to be removed to obtain a diagnosis or in cases where the diagnosis is known, to prevent complications or problems from the lump.
Most cases will be performed under a general anaesthetic. We will also administer local anaesthetic at the site of surgery and on discharge, you will be provided with more pain relief to take at home.

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Mr. Feilim Murphy

MB, BCH, BAO, FRCSI (Paeds)
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Mr. Bruce Okoye

MBBS, FRCS (Paed), MD
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