George H.W. Bush: Mucoid Cyst on Finger

mucoid cyst
A one centimeter mucoid cyst on the "third digit [sic] on the middle finger" of Bush's right hand was surgically removed under local anesthesia at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Oct. 6, 1989 SEE BELOW 1a. (The "third digit" reference perhaps means third phalanx.)

A "sebaceous cyst" on the third finger of his right hand had been drained at the time of his physical five months earlier. The cyst, undoubtedly the same as the one removed, had been present for many years 1b.

The complete text of the corresponding press release 1 is given below.
Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Hand Surgery
October 6, 1989

President Bush underwent minor surgery today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to remove a mucoid cyst of approximately one centimeter in diameter from the third digit on the middle finger of his right hand. The procedure, which started at 1:35 p.m., took approximately 25 minutes and was entirely successful. A pathological examination of the cyst is underway, but Dr. Burton Lee, the President's Physician, said the cyst appeared benign.

The digital nerve block anesthesia, a form of local anesthesia, is expected to wear off within 3 to 4 hours following the surgery. Pain medication will be prescribed as necessary.

The incision was approximately 1 1/2 inches long, along the top of the finger. Eight stitches were required to close the incision, which will be removed in approximately 2 weeks. No long-term impairment of movement in the finger is expected.

The operation was performed by Dr. Allan Smith, a colonel in the Army Medical Corps and chief of hand surgery at Walter Reed, and Dr. George Bogumill, chief of hand surgery at Georgetown University. Digital nerve block anesthesia was administered by Dr. Charles Gandy of Walter Reed, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Medical Corps. White House Physicians Dr. Burton Lee and Dr. Lawrence Mohr, a colonel in the Army Medical Corps, were in attendance throughout the procedure.

The President will wear a splint on the finger for 2 to 3 weeks. Dr. Allan Smith will visit the President at the White House Tuesday, October 10, for a followup examination.

Cited Sources
  1. White House Press Release. [various topics]. George H.W. Bush Public Papers. (Kept in the Bush Presidential Library, College Station, TX).
    a  Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Hand Surgery, October 6, 1989  b  Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Results of the President's Physical Examination, May 10, 1989

    Comment: Downloaded 26-27 November 2003 from:

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