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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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I have a swollen artery in my hand at the base of my thumb

Resolved Question:

I have a swollen artery in my hand at the base of my thumb (right hand side). The artery is enlarged and pulsating the only other discomfort I have is a tingling sensation from my elbow down. Should I seek immediate medical attention?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Is there redness and pain?

Any color change to rest of hand/arm?

Any history of injury or recent injections?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
no colour change, pain or history.
just a tingling sensation
my little finger did feel abit different i.e the sensation you have when a tournicay (sorry about the spelling) is applied but that has since gone away
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

It is unusual to have swelling of the artery, it is more common to get inflammation of the veins and as I cannot examine the area then I think you should get checked out today.


The lack of color change and pain means this is less likely to be cellulitis (a bacterial Infection of the skin) however any swelling affecting a blood vessel should be investigated.


Other swellings that can occur would be ganglion, but these do not typically pulsate.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Could this be a sympton of dehydration?

As it is 11pm here I can only have this checked at A&E, do you think I can monitor overnight or should I immediately go to the hospital?

Yes it is out of the ordinary, as I have never had this before. My pulse remains normal, my pupils are not enlarged or contracted and apart from the noted symptons I am feeling generally normal.
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Are you able to post a photo of the area?

Any tenderness when you touch it?

When you say it is pulsating, is this in time whith your wrist pulse?

Can you be specific as to the location? Is this on the wrist/on the chunky muscle at the base of the thumb or elsewhere?

Any overall fever?

Any warmth to touch of the area?

Why do you mention dehydration? What have you been doing today?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
1. I could send a photo but I do not think it will show up, as the area is located along the base of the chunky muscle of the thumb.
2. It is not tender to touch
3. It is pulsating with the wrist
4. Location runs along/with the chunky muscle at the base of the thumb
5. No fever
6. It is hard to tell if the area is warm, so I would therefore have to say no. It is a warm evening and my hands are bit clam
7. We have experienced temperatures exceeding 30 degree celcius this week and the evening is warm. Today we did not exercise
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for the extra information. Obviously I cannot be definitive as I have not examined the hand however you do not mention any specific warning signs that would warrant a trip to A&E.

If you develop any change to temperature in hand (either hot or cold), or any change in color (either red, white or purple) or pain develops then go to A&E tonight. Otherwise you should get the hand examined tomorrow.

Pauline and other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you