Surgical management of lipomas and removal of soft tissue tumors

The term soft tissues refers to all tissues of the body located in the subcutaneous tissue, outside the peritoneal cavity and outside the bones of the extremities.
Soft tissue tumors are those that arise from various types of cells that make up the mesenchymal tissue which consists of:

• fibrous elements (fascia, tendons)
• fat
• muscle fibers
• blood vessels, lymphatics vessels
• nervous tissue

The vast majority of these tumors are benign.
They most often appear on superficial parts of the body, but can also appear in body cavities, such as the peritoneal cavity or the chest.
When their location is superficial, they can be removed under local anesthesia in a minor or day surgery.
A mass that is larger or located deeper in the tissues requires removal with conventional surgery and hospitalization.

The most common soft tissue tumors are:

• lipomas
• hemangiomas
• fibromas
• leiomyomas, etc.

Malignant soft tissue tumors are designated as sarcomas, such as:

• liposarcomas
• hemangiosarcomas
• leiomyosarcomas, etc.

They make up about 1% of all malignancies.
The surest way to properly diagnose the type of soft tissue tumor we are dealing with is to remove it and have a biopsy. The physical examination and the various imaging tests before the operation can only give us clues and but not a definite diagnosis.
The surgical treatment aims at the complete removal of the tumor along with the surrounding healthy tissue in order to ensure the so-called “healthy resection margins”. This operation is called wide resection.
Whether you receive additional treatment after surgery, such as local radiation therapy or chemotherapy, depends on the type, size, and location of the tumor.