Subungual glomus tumor: clinical manifestations and outcome of surgical treatment

J Dermatol. 2004 Dec;31(12):993-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2004.tb00643.x.


Surgical excision is the treatment of choice for subungual glomus tumor. However, the anatomical location has inherent difficulties. We report the outcomes of surgical treatments for subungual glomus tumor. Sixteen patients, who were seen over an eight-year period (1995-2003) and confirmed as gloums tumor by histopathologic examination were reviewed. The most common subjective symptom was pain induced by contact in 81%. The tumor presented as a discolorated spot or subungual nodule and 38% of tumors were acccompanied with nail dystrophy. All tumors showed discolorated spots or subungual nodules. As shown in the Table 2, the dystrophic nail change was found in 38% of tumors. Differently oriented incisions were made according to the location of tumor, matrix, or bed. The original nail plate was restored in eight patients. Thirteen patients (81%) had cosmetically excellent nail plates, and three patients (19%) had partial distal splits of nail plates. There was no recurrence. Our series suggests that a transungual approach with nail avulsion and an incision selected according to the tumor location can produce an excellent outcome with minimal postoperative complications. Dressing with a trimmed nail plate may also be beneficial in managing the wound and preventing postoperative nail deformity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glomus Tumor / epidemiology
  • Glomus Tumor / etiology
  • Glomus Tumor / pathology
  • Glomus Tumor / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nail Diseases / epidemiology
  • Nail Diseases / etiology
  • Nail Diseases / pathology
  • Nail Diseases / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*