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Soft Tissue Mass Excision

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What is a soft tissue mass?

Soft tissue masses can develop in any location of the body.  The majority of soft tissue masses are either lipomas, benign fatty growths, or cysts, all of which develop just beneath the skin surface.  Enlarged lymph nodes can also present as soft tissue masses.  Lipomas often grow in size and cause pressure and pain by pushing on adjacent nerves.  Cysts often increase in size and can become inflamed, infected, or may even rupture.  Enlarged lymph nodes can be due to nearby infections from more serious conditions such as lymphoma, leukemia, and metastatic cancer. In order to relieve patient symptoms, prevent complications, and evaluate for malignancy, most soft tissue masses require surgical excision.

How is a soft tissue mass excision performed?

Most soft tissue masses can be excised using a short surgical procedure under a twilight anesthetic.  The skin over the mass is injected with local anesthesia, and a small incision is made.  The mass is then carefully removed and sent to the pathology department for further evaluation.

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