Exam Summary

1. Introduction

  • Introduce yourself and the exam
  • Ask the patient if they have any pain
  • Hand hygiene
  • (Expose the lump)

2. Inspection

Look for:
  • Site
  • Size
  • Shape (spherical, symmetrical)
  • Colour
  • Contour
  • Consistency

3. Palpation

Feel for:
  • Temperature
  • Tenderness
  • Size and shape
  • Composition - consistency, translucency, pulsatile, compressible
  • Reducible - eg hernias (for potential hernias ask the patient to cough)
  • Attachment to other structures

4. Percussion

  • Percuss the lump to see if it is dull or resonant

5. Movement

  • See if it possible to move the lump

6. Auscultation

  • May reveal vascular (bruit) involvement or bowel sounds (hernia)

7. Illumination

  • Using a pen torch attempt to illuminate the lump to see if is fluid filled

8. Local Lymph nodes

  • Palpate local lymph nodes to help determine if there is a possible infection. (See Lymphadenopathy)

9. Conclusion

Thank the patient and offer assistance

See Also

Breast Examination
Breast Lump
Inguinoscrotal Lump
Skin Lumps
Neck Lump
Perianal Lump


Revise4Finals- 'Lumps and Bumps Examination'
Medical Geek - Lumpy History and Examination