SURGERY FOR SOFT TISSUE TUMOURS

What are the soft tissues?

The soft tissues include the muscles, tendons, fat, blood vessels, nerves and tissues around the joints. Cancer of the soft tissue, otherwise called soft tissue sarcomas, can occur anywhere in the body but are most commonly found in the head, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, and retroperitoneum.

Why would surgery be needed?

In adults with soft tissue sarcomas, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Most often, surgery is able to treat the cancer, and further treatment isn't necessary.

How is it done?

Under general anaesthetic, the surgery for your sarcoma may differ depending on where it is located and how severe it is. While surgery is planned and discussed with your oncologist, Dr Muthambi has the expertise and experience in removing soft tissue carcinomas. Depending on the location of the soft tissue cancer, the surgery will differ. With each surgery, the goal is to remove the tumour from the soft tissue, as well as a bit of tissue surrounding it. A microscope is often used to see if the surrounding tissue on the edge of the tumour, which was removed, has been infected. This is done to see if the entire tumour was removed successfully.

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What will happen after the surgery?

Depending on what type of surgery is done and the location of the cancer, your recovery will differ. In some cases, all the cancer cells cannot be accessed at the time of surgery. Whether or not you will have to have further cancer treatment such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy will depend on Dr Muthambi's ability to remove an entire tumour. No matter where the tumour is located, it is essential to contact Dr Muthambi if you experience any of the following symptoms as emergency care may be needed:

  • High temperature or chills
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling around the incisions
  • Bleeding from the wound
  • Extreme pain

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