Current concepts review unplanned excision of soft-tissue sarcomas: Current concepts for management and prognosis

Juan Pretell-Mazzini, Mark D. Barton, Sheila A. Conway, H. Thomas Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Biopsy, staging, preoperative imaging and planning, as well as surgical treatment of soft-tissue sarcomas, are best carried out in specialized sarcoma centers, with the support of a multidisciplinary tumor board. Tumor bed excision is recommended after most unplanned excisions, with a goal of obtaining complete tumor removal with an appropriately wide margin of resection. The surgical resection area tends to be more extensive during tumor bed excision than during primary resection because of the need to resect potential areas of contamination, resulting in the need for more reconstructive procedures (flaps and skin grafts) and wider radiation fields. Unplanned excisions are associated with an increased rate of local recurrence related to residual disease and positive margins after tumor bed excision, a deep location, and certain histologic subtypes, such as malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, myxofibrosarcoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. While adjuvant radiation therapy has not been found to mitigate the risk of local recurrence in unplanned excisions, it is generally utilized in the treatment of unplanned excisions as it is in the treatment of primary soft-tissue sarcomas. Given the surgical and oncologic sequelae of unplanned excisions, prevention through the diffusion of concepts by means of provider education on how to approach soft-tissue masses, which can be potential soft-tissue sarcomas, is the best strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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