What is Soft Tissue Sarcoma Resection? Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results
Soft tissue sarcoma resection, also known as “surgical resection,” is a surgical procedure used to remove a tumor from the body. This procedure is usually performed by a specialized surgeon and done in a hospital setting. Soft tissue sarcomas occur when abnormal cells form in the body. They can develop in any part of the body, from the bones to the soft tissue. The goal of resection is to remove the full tumor and as much of the surrounding tissue as possible.
Benefits of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Resection
Soft tissue sarcoma resection is an effective treatment option for many types of sarcoma. It can provide several important benefits, including:
- Removing the tumor and reducing the risk of further complications and recurrence
- Preserving functioning tissue while minimizing trauma to healthy areas of the body
- Reducing the amount of radiation or chemotherapy needed
- Improving the quality of life for patients
Expected Results of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Resection
The results of soft tissue sarcoma resection vary depending on the size and location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, how aggressive the tumor is, and the person’s overall health. Generally, a successful resection will result in:
- Removing the majority or all of the tumor
- The preservation of healthy tissue
- A reduction in symptoms
- An improvement in the patient’s quality of life
- An overall improvement in the patient’s long-term prognosis
It’s important to note that even if the resection is successful, there is still a risk of recurrence, as there may be small tumors that can’t be seen by imaging scans or removed during surgery. If these micrometastases (small, undetectable cancer cells) remain in the body, the cancer may return.
Overview of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Resection
Soft tissue sarcoma resection is a specialized surgery that is performed by a specialized, experienced surgical oncologist. Generally, the patient will be admitted to the hospital three days before the procedure and remain in the hospital for several days afterward for recovery and observation.
Before the procedure, the patient will undergo various diagnostic tests to evaluate the tumor and assess the patient’s overall health. Tests may include imaging scans like ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans, or PET scans. The patient may also need to have a biopsy of the tumor and other tests, such as blood work.
Prior to the procedure, the patient is given general anesthetic, meaning they are asleep during the entire operation. The surgeon begins by making an incision in the area where the tumor is located. Then they gently remove the tumor and any of the surrounding tissue.
In some cases, the surgeon is also able to perform tissue reconstruction. Depending on the location and size of the tumor, the surgeon may also need to remove lymph nodes. Reconstruction is usually done with a combination of surgical staples and/or sutures to close the wound.
Recovery and Post-Surgery Care
After the procedure is finished, the patient is taken to a recovery room to be monitored and monitored for signs of infection, bleeding, and other potential complications. The patient may experience pain, swelling, and bruising in the area, which can be treated with medications or cold compresses.
Once the patient is discharged from the hospital, they will be monitored closely for the weeks and months ahead. The patient may need to undergo additional imaging tests to ensure that all of the tumor has been removed. The patient may also need to have chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or additional surgery to ensure there are no tumors left behind.
Soft tissue sarcoma resection is a surgical procedure used to remove a tumor from the body. It is an effective treatment option for many types of sarcomas, and it can provide several important benefits, including removing the tumor and preserving functioning tissue, as well as reducing the risk of recurrence.
The expected outcome of the surgery depends on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and how aggressive the tumor is. Generally, a successful resection will result in removing the majority or all of the tumor, an improvement in the patient’s quality of life, and an overall improvement in the patient’s long-term prognosis.
The surgery is performed by a specialized surgical oncologist, and is followed by hospitalization for recovery and observation. After the surgery, the patient needs to be monitored closely to ensure that all of the tumor has been removed. With proper care and monitoring, there is a good chance of a successful and positive outcome.
Definition & Overview
Soft tissue sarcoma resection is one of the methods considered for the treatment of cancer that affects the body’s soft tissues including the muscles, lymph and blood vessels, tendons, and tissues surrounding the joints. At times, this condition has no perceived signs or symptoms until the growth has gotten bigger and has affected the surrounding tissues and other body parts. Though most of the soft tissue sarcomas develop in the arms and legs, the condition can also affect other body parts, including internal organs like the stomach and the uterus.
Apart from surgery, this type of cancer can be treated using other modalities that include radiotherapy and chemotherapy. When needed, the patient is advised to try a combination of these treatments to achieve optimal results.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
The procedure can be recommended for patients diagnosed with:
- Soft tissue sarcoma, which afflicts both adults and children, and is even known to occur among infants
- Adult fibrosarcoma, which is characterised by cancer growth in the fibrous tissues of the trunk, arms, and legs
- Angiosarcoma, a type of sarcoma that develops in the lymph or blood vessels. Some patients develop this condition after a certain part of the body has been subjected to radiotherapy for other unrelated condition, like breast cancer.
- Malignant tumour growth under the skin, called epitheloid sarcoma, and in fat tissues, called liposarcomas. The former can occur in almost any part of the body while the latter typically develops behind the knees, abdomen, and thighs.
- Synovial sarcoma, a condition in which malignant growth typically occurs in tissues located around the joint in the knee, shoulder, ankle, and hip
- Desmoplastic small round cell tumour, clear cell sarcoma, and malignant mesenchymoma
Patients who undergo this surgical procedure have to stay in the hospital for several days for close monitoring but are able to resume normal activities after a few weeks.
The outcome of soft tissue sarcoma resection depends on several factors. These include the location and size of the tumour at the time of diagnosis, possible spread to other parts of the body, the depth of tumour, and the grade of cellular appearance under the microscope. The resection of small-sized tumours that has not yet metastasized generally has a good prognosis with some patients achieving complete cure following surgery, especially those with tumours located near the surface of the body. Surgery for localised sarcoma has high survival rate, especially if the cancer is in early stages.
How is the Procedure Performed?
Soft tissue sarcoma resection is considered a major surgical procedure, with the patient placed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon marks the surgical site and makes one or more incision to expose the tissue where the sarcoma is embedded. One of the most common techniques employed is the wide local excision, which involves the removal of cancer growth and about 2 inches of healthy tissue surrounding the malignant cells. Removing an extra margin of surrounding cells would help reduce the chances of the sarcoma from recurring. The incision is then closed with sutures.
Sarcomas located in the limbs may also be removed surgically without removing a big part of the arm or leg. This is termed limp sparing surgery and is typically preferred over the previous practice of amputating the whole limb following diagnosis. In some cases where there is a recurrence, the whole limb may need to be removed to increase the patient’s chances of survival.
Possible Risks and Complications
As a major surgery, soft tissue sarcoma resection carries various risk and possible complications, including:
- Adverse reactions to anaesthesia
- Extensive bleeding in the surgical site
- Formation of blood clots
- Nerve damage, which can lead to chronic pain and numbness in the affected area
- Oedema, or swelling in the limbs
- ‘Phantom limb’ phenomena – Those who underwent complete limb amputation may experience this and would still feel the missing limb
DeLaney TF, Spiro IJ, Suit HD, Gebhardt MC, Hornicek FJ, Mankin HJ, et al. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy for large extremity soft-tissue sarcomas. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Jul 15. 56(4):1117-27
Judson I, Verweij J, Gelderblom H, Hartmann JT, et al. Doxorubicin alone versus intensified doxorubicin plus ifosfamide for first-line treatment of advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2014 Apr. 15 (4):415-23.