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Have painful lump on stomach. Should I be worried?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5369 Questions
It's been around 20 days I have a small, hard and slightly painful lump on the upper left side of my stomach. I cannot "grab" it like it happens with cysts. I don't have any other symptoms - no nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, nothing. I can easily locate the lump by sliding a finger downwards on the left side of my stomach, but it's not visible from the outside. I can only feel it if my belly is not tight i.e. if I do not contract my muscles. Also, if it's very relaxed - like when I sit and bend over - I cannot feel it also. Should I be really worried about it, or is it more likely to be a muscle knot?

An additional detail that might be relevant: I have a 4mm gallbladder polyp which I've been monitoring for 2 years and has never grown. However, on the last ultrasound test I did, which was in the end of last month, my gallbladder was not fully distended even though I was in a 9 hour fast. The doctor said that was a little weird, but told me not to worry about it.
Posted Sat, 8 Dec 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later

Thank you for the query.

This lump can be lipoma, sebaceus cyst or little abdominal hernia. You can perform simple test. Put your finger in the place where the lump usually appears while standing and try to cough. If you find it moving or getting bigger, the hernia it is.
Otherwise, it is some kind of benign soft tissue lump which has nothing in common with abdominal cavity. The best way to make sure what it is, is soft tissues ultrasound. All mentioned lumps can be removed with surgery.
If it is about your gallbladder polyp, monitoring it is not a good idea. You need to know that ultrasound is very inaccurate test, and its result depends of the knowledge and experience of the doctor who performs it. So you never know for sure if it is polyp and if it has become bigger. Moreover, every polyp brings the risk of becoming cancer. And the gallbladder cancer is mostly untreatable. That is why every gallbladder with polyp should be removed with laparoscopy.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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