What is Surgery for Soft Tissue Tumors in Extremities, Trunk, Head and Neck Region?
Soft tissue tumors are abnormal masses of nerve, blood vessel, fat, joint and muscle tissue. They can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) and can develop in the hands, legs, neck, head and trunk regions. Soft tissue tumors are surgically removed by various procedures depending on the type and severity.
- Mohs microsurgery: The procedure involves the removal of the tumor in thin layers. Each layer removed is viewed under a microscope and examined for cancer cells before proceeding to the next layer. The layers are removed until no cancer cells are detected.
- Wide local excision: The procedure involves the surgical resection of the tumor. A margin of the neighboring normal tissue will also be excised along with the tumor to prevent recurrence.
- Amputation: The tumor is removed along with the limb, at the level of the underlying bone.
- Disarticulation: The tumor is removed along with the limb, at the level of a nearby joint.
- Limb-sparing surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure which aims at complete removal of the tumor without amputating the limb or affecting its function.
All surgical procedures may be combined with chemotherapy (drugs) and/or radiation therapy (high dose radiation) to kill and stop the spread of the tumor.
Complications of Surgery for Soft Tissue Tumors in Extremities, Trunk, Head and Neck Region
As with all surgical procedures, surgery for soft tissue tumors may be associated with certain complications such as bleeding, infection at the surgical site, injury to surrounding tissues and recurrence of the tumor.